"We have a bias toward finding information that already agrees with us. To move forward as a species, we're incentivized to compete with one another and find something different, and one of us is right and one of us is wrong."

Michael Muthukrishna

In today's highly connected world, harnessing collective brain innovation is critical to societal evolution. In the latest episode with Michael Muthukrishna, we delve deep into the power of collective brain innovation, the challenges of misinformation in the digital age, and the fascinating idea of intellectual arbitrage.

In the era of collective intelligence, the dynamics of teamwork and the sparks of disagreements often lead to brilliant ideas. The episode highlighted how diversity fuels innovation and the crucial role of selecting the right individuals to form a collective brain for success. However, navigating through the maze of misinformation in today's digital age can be challenging.

Michael probed into the impacts of the internet and social media on our cultural and evolutionary process. The revolutionized way we process and evaluate information was discussed, as well as the profound impact of the Industrial Revolution on society. As institutions scramble to keep pace with rapid technological advancements, it's clear that the collective brain is becoming more vital than ever.

We then ventured into the intriguing concept of intellectual arbitrage. Insights from neuroscience have propelled AI research, leading to the emergence of simultaneous discoveries that result in phenomenal inventions. In the grand scheme of things, understanding ourselves and finding our purpose in life can pave the way for personal fulfillment and success.

This thought-provoking podcast is an enlightening exploration of how collective brain innovation has shaped and continues to shape our species. As the conversation broadened perspectives and ignited curiosity, listeners were left with a deeper understanding of the significance of teamwork, the dynamics of diversity, and the importance of intellectual arbitrage in the digital age.

Tune in and learn about the importance of embracing diversity, navigating misinformation, and leveraging intellectual arbitrage for innovation. Prepare to broaden your perspective and ignite your curiosity as you delve into this enlightening discussion.

Follow Michael @michaelmuthukrishna 

Follow Chase @chase_chewning

Episode resources:

EFR 753: The Evolutionary Impact of Social Media and the Internet and Unlocking the Power of Collective Brain Innovation with Michael Muthukrishna

In today's highly connected world, harnessing collective brain innovation is critical to societal evolution. In the latest episode with Michael Muthukrishna, we delve deep into the power of collective brain innovation, the challenges of misinformation in the digital age, and the fascinating idea of intellectual arbitrage.

In the era of collective intelligence, the dynamics of teamwork and the sparks of disagreements often lead to brilliant ideas. The episode highlighted how diversity fuels innovation and the crucial role of selecting the right individuals to form a collective brain for success. However, navigating through the maze of misinformation in today's digital age can be challenging.

Michael probed into the impacts of the internet and social media on our cultural and evolutionary process. The revolutionized way we process and evaluate information was discussed, as well as the profound impact of the Industrial Revolution on society. As institutions scramble to keep pace with rapid technological advancements, it's clear that the collective brain is becoming more vital than ever.

We then ventured into the intriguing concept of intellectual arbitrage. Insights from neuroscience have propelled AI research, leading to the emergence of simultaneous discoveries that result in phenomenal inventions. In the grand scheme of things, understanding ourselves and finding our purpose in life can pave the way for personal fulfillment and success.

This thought-provoking podcast is an enlightening exploration of how collective brain innovation has shaped and continues to shape our species. As the conversation broadened perspectives and ignited curiosity, listeners were left with a deeper understanding of the significance of teamwork, the dynamics of diversity, and the importance of intellectual arbitrage in the digital age.

Tune in and learn about the importance of embracing diversity, navigating misinformation, and leveraging intellectual arbitrage for innovation. Prepare to broaden your perspective and ignite your curiosity as you delve into this enlightening discussion.

Follow Michael @michaelmuthukrishna 

Follow Chase @chase_chewning

Episode resources:


0:00:03 - Speaker 1

And you have a section in your work talking about innovation in the collective brain that I would love to highlight, and this chunk really stood out to me. And you say that, quote our success as a species has been a result of our incredible ability to innovate, but that has not been a result of individual intelligence alone, nor has it been the result of genetic geniuses who see further than the rest. Instead, innovations don't require any specific innovator, any more than your thoughts require any specific neuron. And, to wrap this up, quote even the simplest things in our lives are the product of thousands of years of accumulated knowledge, borrowed and recombined across multiple generations and multiple cultures spanning the globe. I think that is a very important concept to remember one, and I would love to get your take on this one. It reminds us that, yeah, a lot of us want to change the world, we want to improve our world, we want to improve the world, and a lot of times that burden feels very heavy.

But you also give us this reminder that it's not up to just one person. It takes one person to maybe spark an idea, but then that person ultimately should be coming together to collectively make this collective brain for true innovation. How can we really go about creating a collective brain? Maybe if we feel like we're not in one right now.

0:01:47 - Speaker 2 Yeah, yeah, no, exactly. I mean, I think one of the biggest realizations that emerged from this kind of theory of everyone is that what is remarkable about humans is that we grew our brains so they evolved, tripled in size over the last few million years, but then they kind of hit a limit, because you couldn't birth a bigger head, basically, and if anything, they've kind of declined in size and then we started just improving our software. So it wasn't our hardware that was improving, it was our software. A lot of the things are ways of thinking, are things that are just like Excel or chat, gpt or Google. It's not in the CPU or the GPU, it's in the software.

So is our ability to count, our ability to reason. You know, our ancestors counted 123, many, and that was it. And they used to use stones to try to try to come up with numbers. And they would put stones and notches and they're like I'm going to try to keep these notches. And then you know we would use fingers, like that's why we count with 10, because we've got 10 fingers. But then eventually someone came up with a number line it was actually the 17th and 18th century and things like zero and negative numbers and later, like complex numbers. These suddenly became obvious with a new metaphor.

So part of part of what it takes to improve your, your software, is to be careful about how you architect your information environment. So you're looking for those, those metaphors, those analogies, those, those alphas that give you that edge in the world, and you need to do more than you know. Leave it up to algorithms, which is what people often do. They're just like, oh, whatever's coming at me. You need to be kind of more selective and what you're really the heuristic that you should be using is I already know what my friends think. Like. There's no new information among my closest friends. I can simulate them really well. My weak links there's lots of data from the network literature that my weak links like the guy I knew in high school you know that girl I once met at a bar and she's still on my LinkedIn like those people, are actually the sources of information that's outside your network, that actually are part of your extended collective brain and when we look at those, we nurture those and even even more than just our weak links.

It's the people we disagree with. You know, the people who we don't like have either. They have two things to offer us One. They force us to confront what we really think and figure out like am I right? Like by providing the alternative, or they provide us with new information, a new way of thinking, because they have a confirmation bias, just like we do, right, we have a bias toward finding information that already agrees with us. And so what?

The way that we move forward as a species is because we're incentivized to compete with one another and find something different, and one of us is right and one of us is wrong, and the one of us is right in the next generation persists because it led to that amazing company, that new innovation, that amazing podcast or whatever. We had that edge, and that's what we're really looking for. Right, like nothing, we do nothing. Amazing that we do. We ever do alone, even you know, if you want to, if you want to build a great business, you want to write, you know, do great science, you want to do anything, you have to find the right people, the smartest people around you, people who disagree with you. Bring those people in and make sure that they can work together, because ideas only flow when we can communicate and coordinate with one another. This is the.

I call this, the paradox of diversity. So diversity, like you know, what I'm describing is a way to kind of look for diverse ideas. But diversity, it's fuel for innovation, it gives you new ways of thinking, allows you to recombine things, but it's also divisive, right Like you have to make sure you're speaking the same language, you have to make sure you're aligned on your goals, you're trying to head toward the same place and then you can do it together. So I think you know the two. The two key points in building that collective brain are thinking about your software and how it's being written. Is it being written just because you know I passively accept stuff, or am I kind of like your podcast? Am I moving ever forward by selecting the kind of information that I should be using? And then the people in our lives through which that information comes. Am I seeking out people who actually have something new to offer me? I want to get into this concept of teams Because I think it's very important and you talk about this unique concept of built of.

0:06:04 - Speaker 1 If you want to build better individuals, you need to first build better teams, because better teams build better individuals. It's a unique paradox. But before we get there, I want to take it back to something you said that I think is so important. Could you re revisit and re, re, re rephrase the idea that we have bias towards information when we're looking for things that are already known to us and familiar to us? Yeah, this is such.

I really want the listener to pick up on this because a lot of times and from my own learnings, when I have struggled to to think differently or didn't realize that I was so set in my ways or so complacent, so comfortable.

it's because my environment is so complex, it's because my environment was conducive to not needing to think differently and I didn't realize your point right you know, to no fault of my own, just nature nurture environment, culture, religion, all these things build up bias in the back of my mind for what I look for. So can you kind of unpack a little bit more for us? Yeah, bias of our information.

0:07:08 - Speaker 2 Yeah, so I mean, I mean, the first thing you said is absolutely correct. When our lives are going well for the most part, or we're in an environment that is very safe and secure, we never check our assumptions like, we never think like is this right or not? The moment you know when people are susceptible to like cults, for example, is when something's going wrong. That's the only time that we go, hey, is all of this stuff that I really thought is that correct? Like and sometimes I can lead you astray right, you could be like oh, I know I used to eat healthy, but it turns out big max are the way to like you know, build big muscles or something you know. Like you can, you can, you can absorb crazy things, depending on your diet trend.

The things are yeah it kind of did go with the whole.

0:07:49 - Speaker 1 I started to interrupt you, but just you know the whole, if it fits your macros the calories. I mean calories.

0:07:54 - Speaker 2 I mean, that's right objectively not healthy food.

0:07:59 - Speaker 1 but we're still able to make weight goals, body composition goals, but now I think a lot of them are probably paying the tolls in terms of cardiovascular health and maybe diabetes and inflammation all that stuff.

0:08:13 - Speaker 2 Yeah, hey, that's a great example, you know, so like. The thing to realize is that we have, in our software, received wisdom that we cannot. We don't have the time across our lifetime to check, right? So we brush our teeth twice a day because we believe in this plaque thing. You know, we assume that germs are what make us sick and it's not spirits. I mean, it's not. I'm saying those. Those things are not true. They are as far as I can tell, but you personally don't have access to that. Right, you haven't looked through the microscope and studied the germs. And so you can, you can really see that. Yeah, exactly, you've got no idea and I think you know the. You know, most of us can really see that with the diet trends, right, like every diet trend that comes along somehow seems to make sense, right, like we used to think that eating fat made us fat and we're like eat fat, get fat Makes total sense.

0:09:03 - Speaker 1 I get that Absolutely. And then what happened? God rest his soul. Dr Akin died from cardiovascular disease.

0:09:11 - Speaker 2 Exactly, exactly. And so then we, you know, then we heard it's actually sugar, it's carbs, right, like if you eat sugar and carbs, then if you don't use them fast enough, they get stored as fat. You're like, oh, that makes total sense as well, I get it, you know. Then it's like calories in, calories out. We're like, oh, that totally makes it. So every time it makes sense and it was it's never about the information, actually, it's about whom we trust, whether it seems like it's working for them. And you know, it's only then.

So if we're thinking we have this bias to work, confirming what we already believe, like if you like, if you already you're on board with I don't know Atkins back in the day, right, and you read this study and it's like you know, eating fat's great for you. You're like, absolutely. But then you read another study and it's like eating fat is actually terrible for you. Now you're looking for all the flaws. You're like, well, you know, this was done with, like 18 year old girls. It doesn't apply to me, you know. It's like you're looking for all the flaws and what they might be saying. That's the only time. So that's fine, that's psychology is fine, but it means that what you need are other people with different biases. Like you know, I'm a scientist, right? And you know Richard Dawkins he has this story in one of his books, I can't remember which one, and he's like he remembers this this professor from back in the day who was presented with evidence that like overturned his life's work, and he was like today, I've changed my mind. And everybody clapped and I was like, oh okay, maybe that happened. But in reality nobody changes their mind like that. You know, especially when your whole life's work is at stake, like when you entrenched, you've been doing this thing for so long, you're not likely to change it.

But science moves forward because we are all like that and we're incentivized to show each other that we're wrong. And that's the secret to the collective brain as well. Right, when we have collective brains that are communicating with one another, it's a, it's a safe, it's a psychologically safe environment. It has a culture of free speech. It means that we challenge each other. It means that we're willing to say actually, I don't think that's right and here's why I think this is a better way to do things. That's how we arrive at the truth. It's the scientific method. And the scientific method isn't about like a B testing or like experiments. It's about me doing experiments that are trying to confirm my theory, you doing experiments that are trying to confirm your theory and everybody watching us to see which one seemed to work and then copying the one who?

0:11:30 - Speaker 1 you know who got it. And that brings me to what I want to discuss about this concept of teams in the collective brain thinking. You talk about how it's important to focus on teams and how why the team is greater than the individual, but in the end we still get incredible individuals anyways. And it makes me think of a lot of times in my life that I think a lot of people can relate to one the military. It's always the team is over the individual. You know, mission first, team first.

Then in, you know, in school, in corporate America, you know you're always in some capacity, especially in the professional world, going to be working with teams. And the only way that a team is going to be successful, I believe, and the only way that ultimately then you will become even more successful as part of being of the team, is when everybody abandons the self, brings expertise, brings your authority, brings your inquiries, and then you have that challenge component. You have that challenge to ideas, but then you're still able to accomplish the mission. So it's a totally unique experience. So can you help us understand why we need to first, if we want to be a stronger individual, let go of the individual, focus on the team?

and then the stronger individual on the other side shine.

0:12:45 - Speaker 2 Yeah, so you know, first off, it's very important that you pick the right team, because you can get absorbed into the wrong team, and then you know, you might not, you might not end up in. You know, in the right place. The military is a great example of this right. So one of the great inventions in military history was the army working together and you know, like marching, for example, right, holding up their shields at the same time, when those armies that were working as a great team faced up against a bunch of individual warriors, the Roman army right crushed all of these, these other armies because they were working together.

0:13:20 - Speaker 1 I mean, even today, one of the commands, formations at a single, you know single word.

0:13:25 - Speaker 2 You could exactly. You're part of a larger whole, Absolutely. And even today, like you know, one of the secrets of the US military is interoperability. Like you could, everything is where it's expected to be. The same way, you can drop someone in, replace, you know exactly how they're going to be replaced, and so it works as a machine. You know which, I know, you've first hand.

0:13:44 - Speaker 1 You know what that's like Sometimes very unique machine, but machine nonetheless.

0:13:51 - Speaker 2 Yeah and so, and then, as a result of that because now you are part of that the machine is helping to write your software like it is making you a better person, right? It's giving you the tools that are at the moment kind of across many heads within the team. So you meet great mentors, you meet other great people and you take one of the things that our brains can do that other animals don't do very well is what we call theory of mind. Like you've ever had the feeling where you are simulating, like your significant other or your parents, or like a like you almost know what they're going to say. We have a section of our brain that's, you know, dedicated to like simulating the world, and one of the things that we use it for is simulating other people. And by simulating other people you're in some ways, like writing their software into your brain so you can run that simulation. You know it's like an agent in your head. You know so if, if you're part of a great team, you will forever have a piece of your, that amazing boss that you had, that amazing co-worker you know you're you're amazing pal. Like you will always have them in your head. They'll live on in you because you're selectively picking the pieces and simulating it forever more.

That's kind of how our brains work, and so that's how it makes you a better person. That's how it makes you a greater leader. If you're in a great team that knows how to communicate, knows how to coordinate, it means information is flowing between people and everybody is getting better. Everybody is getting better. You, if you're in an environment where things are being shared, where you're, you know it's better to be social often than to be smart, because being social opens you to all this information and it is very literally changing your brain. It's literally changing your brain, right? So there's, there's two fantastic examples of this. I'll give you one of them reading, if you I don't know if you guys have ever seen the stoop test.

0:15:38 - Speaker 1 It's like you know, colors are like the words, like red, blue, orange. It's like purple is written in Exactly right. Yeah.

0:15:45 - Speaker 2 Right, and you get asked like don't read it, don't read it, you gotta, you just gotta say the color, and it's really hard and like, if you're like a psychologist from Venus and you like came down to earth and you're studying these strange animals, you'd be like they seem to have an instinct for reading but not for color perception. And it's not true. It's just that in school they spent so long drilling it into you. It became an instinct, right, it became part of your software, and what it actually did was it literally took a part of your brain that is normally used for facial recognition and it dedicated it to reading. And so we now have this lateralization, which means one half of our brain focuses on the facial recognition and the other half focuses on reading. And you don't find that in populations that don't have reading. So they're actually probably, like you're probably worse at facial recognition because you can read so well, right, and it's just a small example, but this is happening constantly to us, right?

So I mentioned numeracy, like the ability to count. It means you can count anything, but it's also, like you know, if you think of, think of TV shows, right, because our world has gotten more complex and complicated, so have our TV shows Like think of, like Adam West, wham Bam, batman, versus, like you know, the dark night, like night and day, right, not at all. And even like the crappiest lowbrow TV today has more characters, more convoluted storylines than anything our parents and grandparents were watching. Right, our collective brain, literally, has gotten clever, but not everyone within that collective brain is also becoming clever, because it depends whether they're kind of plugged into that or not, and I think that you know that's what I.

If I want to convey anything to your listeners, it's that you don't have like our software is being written. Culture is evolving. You are getting new skills thanks to school and television and the internet and now like chat, gpt or whatever, but everybody's getting that and if you want to be better than everybody else, you have to be writing your software better than everybody else. You need to be actively using these principles, the kind of principles I lay out in the book, to find that, that edge, and have that extra module, that app in your head that lets you calculate and do things that other people can't, because they don't, they don't have that same simulation.

0:18:01 - Speaker 1 This kind of brings me to another area of your book that I wanted to cover. When we're looking at growing our capabilities, whether as an individual or a part of our team, it all comes down to information, and you have this great section on, you know, misinformation. You know, like we're talking about earlier with you know, this diet is great. For this reason, I'm not saying that that wasn't true, but you know, a lot of times, especially nowadays, with access to so much information, we have so much misinformation and it can seem like we're evolving, it can seem like we're getting more intelligent. We have more access, we have more smart people, more people than ever able to learn on the go.

But is it information or misinformation? And this really intrigued me. You talked about how the solution to misinformation is more information. The answer to the infamous fire in a theater analogy is that when someone falsely shouts fire, we need other voices to shout no, there isn't. And we need to exploit indirect reciprocity, tracking reputations like the boy who cried wolf, turning false fire alarmist into untrustworthy sources who lack credibility in other domains of life. How can we realistically add more information to misinformation and make sure that we're actually moving the needle and just not exacerbating a problem?

0:19:20 - Speaker 2 Yeah, yeah. So you know. The point behind the stuff you read is that misinformation is not actually about information. It's about trust. It's about whom we trust as being reliable in information, that we get the source exactly. So one of the examples I use in my students is I say look, every day you see a flat earth. It's flat, and every day you see a sun tracing the sky from east to west. But if I were to try to convince you today that the earth is flat, you'd be like yo I need a refund on this degree.

You believe heart of hearts. You believe we're on a spheroid. We're rotating around a star. It's one of many stars in the galaxy. You want a many galaxies in the universe, which means that you are willing to accept anything right, even if it violates your everyday experience. And so it's super important that you're picking people who are actually trustworthy, and that's really hard. So one of the things we can do is, first off, to know if somebody is actually successful, like are they practicing what they preach? Like is it working out for them, or is there some other reason that they're successful? Like if you find out like you know, this person's got this amazing business, and you're like, wow, you know I could totally do that. Then it turns out you know they, actually their parents were billionaires and they actually lost a bunch of money. You're like, oh, I'm a lot less, you know how they got their matters and knowing that information right, so whom should I trust? And then looking out for like sincerity displays, like costly displays, so you know, one of the field night.

Nike, you know really, I think Phil Phil Knight is amazing. You know the founder of Nike. He did three amazing things right. Three amazing things. One is like waffle waffle print on the shoes. That's pretty cool. He also realized famously he wrote this essay I think it was part of his degree or something where he said hey, there are these major wage differentials across the world and if I make my shoes in Asia, I'm going to be able to make those shoes way more cheaply. That's another innovation led to the you know, sweatshops and all kinds of problems there. The third amazing thing that he did, the thing that was really brilliant, was he said I'm.

You know, when you want to sell a product like what's your, what's, the instinctive thing you say is like look at the amazing features of my product. Like, look at the shoe, look at the quality of the leather. People are not shoe experts. They're not going to be able to tell if like your shoes better than the other guys shoe Like we. That's not how it works, it's not about the information, right? Phil was like you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to endorse athletes, I'm going to give them my shoes, I'm going to have them wear it, and so when people see them win, they're going to see them winning in Nike, and that is a costly signal because it's not fakeable, right, Like they're either wearing the Nike or not. Right, and so it is, or it is not. And so now I'm like, okay, this person is successful. They're. They have a costly display. They chose to wear Nike.

Later, other companies started doing it too. Right, they're not wearing the Adidas, they're wearing the Nike. I should probably wear Nike too. Right, my, my, my. The part of my brain, that is is honing in on the kind of people who are trustworthy goes yeah, I should do that. And that's like colleges with us all the time, by the way, like celebrities sway us on things that have nothing to do with their success as well. It's like I wore this perfume. I'm like good for you, but people like I want to buy that perfume. You know Messi's apparently like he's. He's doing Lay's chips or something. Now it's like that's not why Messi can kick a ball, right? No, that's not why.

But that you know? Yeah, exactly, exactly. So it really is about like deciding who you trust. You know, I gotta say so. I'm on. I'm on Twitter. I have not abandoned Twitter. I think Twitter is a great place for, like, free speech.

One of the best innovations that I have seen on social media full stop in a very, very long time are community notes. Right, like, the tendency on social media is to I'm going to suppress things I don't like, and you know, like there's lots of misinformation. I'm going to suppress that misinformation and in the short term, maybe you'll reduce the amount of misinformation, but you'll increase distrust, because now I'm like well, you're not showing it to me, but why are you not showing it to me? Right, like, do I? Are you the arbiter of truth? Are you the arbiter, like you know? Should I? Like? I want to sit? Exactly, you think you think I'm dumb, right? Yeah, exactly, you know.

And it treats people with disrespect. You know, it's like it goes. Like you're, too, you can't be trusted to decide between what's true and not. I'm just going to hide it from you, you know, whereas if you say, no, look, I look, I got to get rid of the bots, because the bots are poisoning our social media streams and they're tricking us into thinking real people believe I got to get rid of them. That's true, but any real person, I want to hear what they have to say and the community notes, as a way to say. If lots of people with different opinions all have something to say, it provides context and I think it's been. It's been incredible. It's like an incredible feature that adds more information rather than less, to tackle the problem of misinformation.

0:24:11 - Speaker 1 From kind of the evolutionary standpoint, looking back, let's just say, you know a hundred years. Do you think that this concept is that new? Or are we just finding a way to repackage it? How? What did this look like in civilizations earlier? You know, how did this serve them? How did this disserve them? Or is this something new that, because of the growth of information and technology and access to that, we have kind of just created this new problem? On top of something that, evolutionary speaking, was meant to grow us.

0:24:47 - Speaker 2 Yeah, so you know there's a few things going on here, right. So the internet and social media have just ramped up everything about the cultural evolutionary process. It's just made everything go faster. There was lots of misinformation in the past, right. Like we used to like when we were kids, we thought carrots made us see the dark Right. That was. That was fake news man that was fake news.

0:25:11 - Speaker 1 Yeah.

0:25:12 - Speaker 2 Yeah, yeah, exactly, I mean my carrots, like I can't see anything in the dark. You know that was. That was fake news and I didn't discover that till I was an adult you know, and probably right, yeah, right.

Right, right, right, right, right, right, exactly so it's like you know, this persists for a long time and the thing about the internet today is that, like we every you know like someone is wrong on the internet, I have to correct them. You know, I tell the story about a friend, a buddy of mine from you know, back when I was an engineer, and he, he told me one day he was like you know, when I put things up on like Stack Overflow, which is like this Q and A for programmers. I don't just ask the question, because if you just ask a question, nobody answers. I asked the question and then I use my sock puppet account to post the wrong answer and then people jump out of nowhere and they're just like that's so stupid, that's not the right answer. And I get the right answer Right, oh, dude.

Yeah, that guy knew what he was doing, you know. So you know that's the thing, right it's, it's it's ramping everything up, but it's doing it. It's doing it in a, in an impoverished way, because so you think back to the enlightenment. Right During the enlightenment, this was another big ramp up, because you had the printing press and suddenly all these pamphlets were traveling from town to town. People would meet in these coffee shops, but they would meet each other in person, right, and I knew like Chase. You know Chase lives over there, I know, I know him, I know whether he's a trustworthy source and you know, I know everything about his family. So I can, I can, judge him properly. But on the internet I don't know who people are Like, I don't have the cues that I would normally have in real life and I'll give you I'll give you a small example of this that.

0:26:46 - Speaker 1 I use in the book. You say that again. I think the listener should really pick up on that.

0:26:50 - Speaker 2 Yeah, so. So we used to be a when we got our information from one another in person, we had a whole bunch of social cues about the context of that information, like is this like you know, the woman down the road who's always talking crazy things? Or is this like the brilliant person who's coming up with new ideas all the time? Like I had a rep, I knew the reputations of people, but now when I look on the internet, it's all of these people are shouting at me on social media and they're stripped of that, that, that context, that background that allowed my, my evolved psychology to evaluate whether this person was like a legit source or not. Right, and you know, I, you know in the book I suggest some examples that are pretty like low hanging fruit. Some of these are harder. Some of these low hanging fruit community notes, it's great, it's low hanging fruit. But I'll give you an example. So we get follower count. Right, because people who design social media, they know that we care that other people pay attention to someone and we use popularity as a cue. But actually, from the evolutionary sciences we know that we don't use popularity per se. We use a specific kind of popularity that in the network.

Literature is referred to as Eigenvector centrality Technical term. Don't worry about it. What it means is I care about not only your number of followers, but who those followers are and who those followers are. So I care about the followers of the followers. So imagine I'm on, I'm on social media and I have like I don't know 50,000 followers and it turns out all 50,000 of them are like farmers in Indonesia and high school students. I'd be like I'm not impressed anymore, right, but if you have like exactly exactly it's like. Whereas if I have 5,000 followers and they're made up of like the world's greatest musk is following me and Obama and you know all these, you know all these people are following me, suddenly that person's way, I don't get that contextual information Exactly. I don't have that in real life. I do. I'm like this person is popular, but they're popular with, like the local, local sewing club.

0:28:44 - Speaker 1 Is it the one in the book around the clock? I don't get that psychological safety.

0:28:50 - Speaker 2 Yeah, so that's, that's part of it, right, like an environment where we are free to talk to one another.

0:28:54 - Speaker 1 We know who each other are. Complexity and context behind everybody there.

0:29:01 - Speaker 2 Exactly Cause you know we all have buddies right who they disagree with us, but I know that I can. I can grab a beer with them and I can talk about the hot button issues of our time, because we trust each other. We know that we're on the same page. We're trying to figure the world out together. But you, when you in real life or when you meet a stranger, rather you don't know that, you don't have that psychological safety. You're like I might say something and they're going to think the worst of me, like they don't have that assumption that like I'm coming from a good place, I'm just trying to figure the world out. So you know, in the book I say, like we really, if, if we are concerned about winning arguments, carry on, do what you're doing, you know. But if you're, if you care about arriving at the truth, we have to like steal man each other, like we have to hear what other people have to say, look at what they have to say in the most charitable interpretation and help that person make the their best version of their argument, in so far as you actually care about, you know, getting at the truth. I want to say one more thing, chase. So the other thing that the internet has done is that, you know, we talk. We started this conversation about group psychology, right, like the fact that those cooperative groups, the internet, so what I've been describing so far in the book I describe it as a second enlightenment, like we can ramp this thing up and if we really want to get to that second enlightenment we need to provide those cues to people. Again, right, but the other thing that it's doing is the internet is creating new tribes. So in the past, you know, if I lived in a village and I was into I don't know porcelain plates, I was like the one guy into porcelain plates, like I I'm not going to tell people, I'm just going to like, do my porcelain plate thing. I don't have a community, you know. I mean, even dating pools were tiny, right, like I forget who I was as a geneticist. I quote him in the book. You know he says the bicycle was one of the greatest advancements, because now I could date people within writing distance in the I could eat him by the tree and we could, you know, we could do the thing, right. Yeah, he's not wrong, but like we were in these small communities, we could never do this Now on the internet, no matter like how weird and bizarre your interests are, you can find other people who also are into that thing and you can form a community around it and you can try to attract more people and create a tribe.

So I give some silly examples from Reddit. Right, so you know? Are you into carrying sand in your pocket Chase? Do you like carrying sand? No, right, but 30,000 people on Reddit are talking about it constantly. You know there's another one. Like you know, pocketsand. I agree, it's only 30,000 people. What about like stapling bread to a tree? Do you like walk around the park stapling?

0:31:31 - Speaker 1 No, you don't right.

0:31:33 - Speaker 2 But let's this? 300,000 people Google that. Google it right now. Go on Google images and look it up. You will find all these pictures to 300,000 people are doing this on the regular right Now.

Those communities are unlikely to grow. They're not going to grow, but a fitness community that's really into calisthenics or like kettlebells or whatever. They can find other people and show the benefit of that and then they can like grow as a community. If you have like a, an illness, a disease or something that's really rare, you can find other sufferers and you can find best practices that even doctors are not aware of, because you know they spend one hour in medical school discussing this rare disease, right? So that creates new tribes. Now think about these two things in concert new tribes and ramped up cultural evolution.

It is a melding pot of conflict and confusion and a cacophony of noise, and in there, that's what that's the world we find ourselves in today. It's moving way faster than our institutions can keep up. It is breaking democracy in many ways, because you can't keep up with what's going on. People are using it to try to amplify different messages and, at the end of the day, I think there's a, there's a serious danger that we decide this is too much. We need to clamp down on it. We need to suppress the free speech. We need to, you know, try to cut back the misinformation by telling people what they need to know, and that's exactly the wrong direction. We need to lean into our evolved psychology and give people the cues that they need to make better decisions in the world.

Give them the information. Give tell me about this journalist who's writing about this. Right, are they saying that schools should reopen because they got a bunch of kids at home? Or like annoying the bejesus out of them? Or do they have no skin in this game? You know this guy who's, like you know, selling supplements to me. Does he have? Is that his supplement company, or you know? Or is that like legit, what he's been taking and now he's invested in? Tell me the history, like that's the information that I need, that's the context, and then leave it up to people, because, yeah, misinformation will spread, but but people are incentivized to tell each other that they're wrong, and so good information will also spread.

0:33:42 - Speaker 1 Do you think that, looking back, let's say in 50 years, will we look back on this generation right here, right now, the 2000s, we'll say, or just this current 100 years and go? You know, comparatively to history, humans evolved parallel with technology and opportunity and all these things, whereas right now, maybe, the technology and the access and the growth of all of that is outscaling humans ability to evolve parallel with it. Do you think are we kind of losing the grip on that part of our evolution and therefore maybe kind of shooting ourselves in the foot? Is it possible to know that now or only in the next 50, 100 years? To look back?

0:34:35 - Speaker 2 Yeah, so that is the billion dollar question, and so I can speculate a little bit about it, but we as a species are working this out. So the first thing to say is in the book. What I basically say is the Industrial Revolution makes a mockery of everything that came before Scientific revolution and enlightenment. These are blips, actually, in terms of progress metrics, and the reason that the Industrial Revolution led to the world that we live in today, where we have larger cooperative groups and this amazing technology and way more people than we've ever had, is because of energy and new technologies and innovations and using that energy Like, for example, we discovered the Haber-Brosch process where we can create ammonia for fertilizer. So we take natural gas and we mix it with nitrogen in the air and we create ammonia, and that led to the green revolution of the early 20th century. That doubled the human population. Like about 4 billion people are alive today thanks to that. So things move very rapidly and when you have more people, you get more technology, more innovation, insofar as they're well educated. Now the other thing that happens is that you get a stickiness. So our institutions, they're slow to change to keep up with it.

One of the areas that I work on is education. Schools were designed. They were the factory model, applied to create factory workers, and they have not kept pace with the information economy. They were for an industrial economy. They have not kept pace with the information economy, let alone AI. I remember when I was in school, my middle school teacher was like you better learn mental arithmetic, because you're not going to carry a calculator in your pocket. I should go back to them. I'd be like hey, have you seen this iPhone thing? It's in my pocket all the time.

0:36:22 - Speaker 1 They literally would think we're going to walk around with our T-i and put three in our back pocket at all times, maybe something we'll do I don't know, but I recently saw this concept that the technology we have, the computing power we have in the modern day iPhone, is something like 40, 50 times greater than what was used to put the first shuttle on the moon.

0:36:43 - Speaker 2 That's right. Yeah, they were using 1960s computing. Yeah, no, absolutely it's crazy, it's wild. I mean, it's come a long way and that's not the thing. So it is outstripping our institution's ability to keep up. And we see that when technology changes fast, respect for the elderly goes down and that's because they're out of date.

Like forwards from grandparents, it's like they're more susceptible. They grew up in a world where if you were on TV or you had a nice typeface newsletter that was New York Times worthy, right Now everybody's on YouTube, anyone can produce a video and anyone can create like a newspaper, like newsletter, and so those cues that they learned were trustworthy are not. They're not applicable anymore. And this generation you know the gender like to. Since around 2007, you know a lot of young women in particular are facing mental health problems because they don't have the like. They are looking for who's Successful, and on Instagram they see lots of people, but they are not equal.

They're psychology. They're evolved. Psychology is not prepared for world where people can filter their lives like show you only like they're not showing you. You know, when they sleep they slipped and fell. Or when they're sitting on the toilet, they're like showing you. You're sitting on the toilet scrolling, watching this amazing life, you know, and so, and they also don't they're not prepared for a world we're literally like the full force of technologies filtering people into, like beautiful, beautiful faces, you know, and beautiful lives. So they're not prepared for that and they will be the next generation, I think, is much more aware of that.

So, unfortunately, I think culture is keeping pace, but it's keeping pace in In parallel to our regular institutions. Like people are not getting their information From mainstream media, right, they're not getting their information from high school or, you know they're not getting their information from, you know, even universities are kind of slow to keep up. They're getting their information from podcasts, you know, interviewing interesting guests. They're getting their information from the discord channel that they're on. You know they're getting their information from, like Twitter, like if you want to keep up with, you know, wars going on.

0:38:50 - Speaker 1 Like you're getting a much faster feed From these places, platforms and sources, whereas before I remember, even growing up you know I was born in 85, right, so my generation. Growing up, what was with your parents and you had the morning news and the evening news and, depending on, maybe, where you were, you had Maybe an afternoon update kind of thing, but you had a couple channels and a couple times. Now it's any channel.

0:39:13 - Speaker 2 Yeah, yeah, anytime. Yeah, yeah, yeah, no, absolutely like. Yeah, I'm 87. So I'm with you. Like you know, I know exactly. I mean my kids are like. So you telling me the TV, told you when you could watch TV. Yeah yeah, now what do you think about it? Yeah, that seems so. Yeah, yeah, we had to. You know, we had to look at the TV guy and we had to, like, watch the clock. Sometimes we said in the water, wow, I was there, but yeah you kind of covered it here.

0:39:40 - Speaker 1 But another section in your book that I loved, in chapter 12 around becoming brighter, you have this quote that I think summarizes what you're just talking about so eloquently. It's from Friedrich Hayek, if I'm pronouncing that correctly. He says it's culture which has made us intelligent, not intelligence which has made culture and that kind of flips this concept on its head when we really think about it. So we're a great way to kind of put a bow on that concept, I think.

Absolutely yeah, one other thing, another strategy that I want to cover as we kind of get to, as we kind of get towards the end here. Actually, I have two more, because you have so many great, so many great, just um, verticals in your work. That really makes me scratch my head and the listener scratch their head, hopefully, around. How did we get here? And, ultimately, what makes us human? And, uh, it's individual, but it's absolutely this group dynamic. We have to remember that, and you have this really interesting concept called the magpie strategy. Um, shows us how to prepare our minds to see solutions where others do not and to deliberately find opportunities for intellectual arbitrage. What's going on there? What is this magpie strategy?

0:40:50 - Speaker 2 Yeah, so. So you know, magpies are known, you know uh, at least in folklore, for like, going around looking for shiny objects and bringing it back to their nest, right, um. So If you look so I study innovation and when you look across the, you know, uh, the major innovations in the historical record, they're often not the case of like somebody just sitting there scratching their head and coming up with stuff. It's it's a story of people understanding the problem really well. This is the prepared mind and because they understand the problem really well, they understand their customers or whatever. When they're looking widely, they see solutions where other people don't, and then they can bring it back to their nest. So one part of that is, like you know, making luck work in your favor, serendipity.

So there's lots of like, you know, like classic examples of this right, like, um, uh, the the invention of vulcanized rubber. So this is the rubber you find on a tire, like that hard rubber. Uh, charles goodyear, he burns a piece of rubber and he notices that if you cut away the kind of burnt bits, you get this hardened rubber, this vulcanized rubber, and that works really well. Now, how many people do you think burned rubber? Like, tons of people burned rubber, right, but not everybody realized this was a useful thing. He realized it because he'd spent time trying to sell some products to Uh, the india rubber rocks break a rocks break company, where he saw these misshapen boots and other rubber products and he knew that they needed a hardened rubber. So when he saw this he was like, oh, wow, okay, uh, you know, this is what they're looking for and the good, your entire company's named after the other people see trash.

I, exactly, I see opportunity where others don't like. The magpie sees it, you know. You see trash on the ground. The magpie sees the shiny thing, brings it back to the nest. And in the book, you know, I teach people to to do this deliberately. So I kind of I call it intellectual arbitrage, like you don't have to be brilliant, but you do need to have a mind that is can understand the problem really well and can seek out solutions and then kind of bring them, you know, bring them back right. So you know, in in in, uh, behavioral economics, right, and Nobel prize was won because Danny Kahneman was reading the economics literature and he goes hey, your economic models Don't match what I'm seeing in my experiments. Lots of like these. These things were happening at the same time but it took him to go. If I bring these two pieces together, I'm gonna form a brand new science, right? Um, there's so many examples of you know, you see something somewhere else and you know, like the AI, for example, right, jeffrey Hinton was an experimental psychologist working on the human brain and he and, and before that, you know people like Marvin Minsky, another famous AI researcher.

He was like look humans, they have logic and they have knowledge and we just need to program logic. Computers are good logic. Give them enough knowledge. This is the way to do this right. And Hinton was like you know what? I'm gonna build a brain, and, and, and and. Marvin Minsky makes fun of these guys. You know they call connectionists. He's like he actually stands up at a conference one day. He says why would a smart young man waste your time with an idea as dumb as this? Right, making a brain, you know, and so you know. And so Hinton's like oh, you know, in through the 90s he's kind of like oh, I don't know if this thing's working, but I'm just gonna keep doing the math or whatever. And then the only 2000. We made these brains bigger and there was a phase shift when we made them big enough and we gave them enough data that they were able to do things we were not expecting, like seeing a banana in a picture. You know before that you had to label it. These, these, these machines, these brains could see it right.

What was that was intellectual arbitrage. That was going. I know something about neuroscience and I'm gonna bring it back to computing and I'm gonna create a brand new you know a brand new world, right Across the Einstein. You know, if people want to talk about genius, they're like Einstein's a genius. Like you know, he came up with some stuff.

The guy is sitting in burn, right, and I don't know. People know that he worked at a patent office. He was actually working on patents for the electrical devices, for the synchronization of time. So he's literally just sitting there all day at the cutting edge of of science and technology about synchronizing time, right, and he's starting to think through this. And then he combines it with his understanding of solving, you know, these field equations and he comes up with special relativity and later general relativity, right, like, I'm not saying the guy's not bright, he's clearly bright, but he was also engaging in this kind of intellectual arbitrage.

He was the magpie. He was taking a piece and bringing it, and so if you are get, if you are seeing the information that everyone else is seeing, you're gonna see simultaneous discovery, right, and and we see, by the way, you know so, like calculus, newton comes up with calculus, but Leibniz comes up with it at the same time, and now they're fighting. You know, like, who came up with it first, a world of no calculus, and then two people come up with the same time. What's up with that? You know like Edison comes up with the light bulb and so does Joseph Swan at the same time. They, they form our company together. What's up with that? No light bulbs. And now there's light bulbs, it's because they're reading the same material, right, so they're not. Not everybody's coming up with light bulbs because not everybody's looking into anything to do with, you know, filaments and how much current you got to put through them or anything like that.

So what I would say is like, if you want to, if you want to come up with that next great idea, you have to have a mind that is prepared, in the sense you understand the problem that you're trying to solve really well, and then you expose yourself, you tailor your collective brain, you tailor your information architecture To give you more and more information that other people are not seeing, to give you that alpha, to give you that edge. And I practice what I preach. That's how the book was written. You know it's a bold title, a theory of it's drawing from everywhere.

Try, like I think of myself as like an undisciplined researcher in this, you know, non-disciplinary Like I'm just trying to solve puzzles and I don't care what the answers come from. I'm gonna, I'm gonna take it from biology or economics or political science or physics or whatever I need. I'm gonna solve the problem and that's. I think that's. That's what the magpie does. You take the shiny things, you bring it back to the nest and you know Uh, I think the the girl magpies like that so is.

0:46:34 - Speaker 1 Um, is it safe to say, then, when we're looking to solve a problem in our life and we're looking to advance our life, oftentimes we will do the obvious right we will focus on the problem, focus on the path before us, and that might work to some degree. But am I hearing you correctly that if we want to, maybe I don't know if get there sooner is the right statement but have a more expansive, expansive opportunity to not only solve that problem but to bring so many other facets of life and potentially problem solve other areas? We need to remove ourselves from that unique environment. We're saying too stuck with blinders. We need to kind of maybe right completely.

0:47:19 - Speaker 2 It's a weird concept to say like out there to solve the problem before me.

0:47:22 - Speaker 1 I need to like go across the street.

0:47:26 - Speaker 2 Yeah, yeah, exactly to the, to the, to the person who you know, who you disagree with. Innovations are driven by three processes recombining ideas. Serendipity like just luck, I just saw something that no one else saw, or you know I, I'm like penicillin, you know, I left a window open and you know whatever and incremental innovation, and normally it's all three of these things, right. So it's a bit of like I am. You know, I am McClain, who came up with a shipping container which led to the rise of Asian manufacturing in 1956. Malcolm McClain, you know, he knew in the military that they were putting trucks on ships. So he had that right. He saw an opportunity because cars were becoming more widespread and the roads were clogging up and so trucks weren't necessarily the best and easiest way. And he knew that long distance trade it wasn't going very well because, you know, you know those dock workers, like they had to unload the ships. The rolling the barrels they got, the pulleys took weeks, no one would ship anything perishable, right. So he saw that that was the recombinatorial aspect of it, right, it was kind of lucky that he had some of those experiences. And then it was just iterate like grind, grind, grind.

He's like you know what, driving I've got my ship, I'm driving the trucks on there. He drives the trucks on there and he's like that worked. You know he had, you know I think it was like I can't remember how many there were. You know, he drives them over. It worked really well. And then he's like I wasted a lot of space with the engine and I wasted a lot of space with the wheels. What if I just, like I don't know, took them off? So he takes off the?

You know he takes the truck, the container off the truck and he just puts that on there and then he iterates, he iterates and he iterates and he iterates to try to like build it out so that he can go on a train, it can go back on the truck, it can go on the ship, it can go, it can be lifted by a crane. You know he iterates. And, in contrast, right, there were a bunch of folks at the time who just doing all these equations, they were just like okay, like what is the optimal? You know, he's like no, I've seen it, I know it can work, I'm just gonna do it, I'm gonna iterate, I'm gonna iterate, I'm gonna iterate. Recombination, serendipity, incremental innovation, preparing your mind and using intellectual arbitrage, magpie strategy. That's the way to innovate.

0:49:31 - Speaker 1 I didn't prepare for this but as you were just talking, it reminded me of. Are you familiar with the fame producer Rick Rubin? A recently had a book that came out called the Creative Act. So, rick Rubin is a iconic producer. He's literally worked with everyone you know from like alternative metal, such as System of a Down to Lady Gaga, to the Rolling Stones, to I mean. I mean, you named the most iconic albums of all time, of all genres. Odds are he has worked with them to produce it.

And he had this book that came out earlier this year, I think called the Creative Act that I just fell in love with.

0:50:06 - Speaker 2 I've listened to it the journey on that audio book. It's like a meditation.

0:50:12 - Speaker 1 So I just pulled up a couple quotes, cause I knew no matter what I found would be pertinent for this conversation. And when I just landed on it he says look for what you notice, but no one else sees.

0:50:24 - Speaker 2 And I think when we're thinking, creatively, or how to think creatively and how to solve and how to evolve our life and even culture.

0:50:33 - Speaker 1 that is it Look for what you notice, but no one else sees. That's it.

0:50:37 - Speaker 2 Yeah, yeah, no, that is that's beautiful, that is a beautiful line that captures exactly right, you know, sometimes it's not, you know. So this is where the prepared mind and the information so yeah, seek out new information, that's an easy way to do it. But sometimes it's also seeing something that no one else sees. Because you have the prepared mind, like you understand the problem. So you see the solution. Where others see trash, where others see noise, where others see nothing, you see it and you're like that could work. That's your edge.

0:51:08 - Speaker 1 Michael, I could just pick your brain and unpack this stuff for Everman, but I'm gonna kind of rein it in before we get to the last question and how this can really help us live a life ever forward. All in all, your work brings to mind this one question, so I'd love to get your answer. What does it mean to be human?

0:51:34 - Speaker 2 Yeah. So what does it mean to be human? I think what it means to be human is to be part of a species where each of us is smarter than our short lifetimes should allow. It means being you know humanity is like. If you feel like, how is it possible that we are able to make Zoom calls across the planet, like how are we doing this, when everyone around me is an idiot? You know you're kind of right. You're kind of right, you know Each of us is. You know we're smart at one thing but stupid at a bunch of other things.

But as a species, right, we double down on the software and we double down on the collective. And we said together we're gonna create a collective brain and that collective brain is what drives us forward. And I think leaning into that, recognizing, like leaning into your stupidity, and recognizing that the answers to your problems are often in other people's heads, but often spread across many heads, and what you are doing is picking those pieces, putting them together, putting the puzzle and solving the problems in your own life. Right, that is what makes us a new kind of animal. That's what makes us a different animal to all the other animals.

That makes us the animal, that makes the skyscrapers and the internet and the you know and the rockets that travel to Mars, like that's what makes us different and I think knowing, like the book, you know, the subtitle of the book is you know who we are, how we got here and where we're going. And that's very deliberate because if you wanna know where we're going or where we could go, you need to understand, like who we are as a species, like you need to understand the constraints and you need to understand the moment that we are in today, because the difference between utopia and a better world, for you personally as well as all of us, is the acceptance and understanding of who we are and the constraints we face ourselves in Utopias are unconstrained. But a better world says here's where I am, here's where I could go, with a few small changes, and that's really part two of the book. It's all about how we can do that. I love it.

0:53:31 - Speaker 1 I love it. I think that's such a great segue into how I wanna ask you. You live a life ever forward. What does that mean to you, and particularly through your work and through this book? A theory of everyone. How can these concepts help us move forward in life today?

0:53:51 - Speaker 2 Yeah, you know, it's just before. You know. I said to note, as a species, you need to know where. You know who we are and how we got here as people. If you wanna move ever forward, you need to understand yourself and you need to understand what you are looking for in life. I have a colleague named Paul Dolan. He says you know, happiness is about.

There's this kind of a spectrum, if you like, or two different things, which is purpose and pleasure. Right, and different people lie on different parts of this. For some people, like, what drives them in life is purpose. You know, like you can think of an extreme on that is like a priest, low on pleasure, high on purpose, and then the other side is like pure pleasure. You know, it's like I just I jump out of airplanes, I'm a heat and it's, you know, all the way. I don't care about this purpose thing.

Figure out who you are and then figure out how you can structure your life so you're getting more of that stuff that makes, that satisfies you, that drives you. Well, cause the answer isn't the same for all of us. I mean, that's one of the things right, like if you read the literature on satisfaction, you're getting the average, but the average person is, ironically, pretty rare. You're not average. None of us is average right Like we're all somewhere on a spectrum of things that we care about. So figure that out and then decide how do I structure my life. Like for me, I'm obsessed with these questions. I'm trying to make the world a better place and I you know I'm all about efficiency. There's an entire chapter, you know. There's a section where I talk about, like you know how to efficiently relax so that I can get back to what it is that I'm doing.

0:55:16 - Speaker 1 You know how to stay healthy, how to do a better spouse, or just you know where we are. And then how do I hack relaxation?

0:55:27 - Speaker 2 That's right. And you know even, like, how do I hack optimization? Like I don't want to spend too long optimizing what's the optimal amount of optimization. You know, like, where do I, where do I schedule the spontaneity? You know I'm partially joking, but like you need to figure that out and then structure your life so you're doing more of the stuff you love, more of the stuff that like another way. Here's how I think about this.

Right, in each of us, there are many people. There are many people. There's, like there's, you know, for you know, for some people, there's the actor. You know I love being on stage. I love people listening to me. You know the other. There's, like the poet, you know, who sits quietly and writes. You know. There's the. There's the priest, you know there's a. You know who's looking for that spiritual side. You know there's the. There's the soldier who wants to like protect.

You know each of us have different people in them and you need to, you need to look inward and you need to figure out who those people are. And to do that, think about the moments in your life when you had that flow, you know, when you you had that moment where you're like I'm in the right place. Right now I'm doing the thing I love. Like I could do more of this, and there's not one moment, there's many moments and they represent the different use and then structure your life so you're getting more of those things that are satisfying the different use, because you're not one person, you're multiple people and you have lots of needs and you need to balance those. But you need, if you want to be a happy, contented, satisfied, ever-forward person. You need to learn who those people are, get to know them and satisfy each of them. That's the secret to moving ever forward.

0:56:55 - Speaker 1 I love that reply. I always say there's never a right or a wrong answer, but if I may actually want to share something with you, I think it's a great kind of continuation of that very timely one.

Last night, as we're recording this, I went to a breath work and cold plunge wellness event here in LA and it was a somatic breath work experience about 40, 45 minutes, which is a pretty intense duration, and my intention going in was I'm in a place, I'd say more professionally, where I have done a lot of work and I have a lot of clarity on who I am.

And my intention going into it was to who am I not professionally, who am I not? To kind of really shed a lot of things Like what more do I need to say no to? Basically, and out of nowhere it kind of came down to I had this idea of it's not about who I am not or rather, who am I, but it's the fact that I get to pose these questions and the fact that I get to be, and I think I was realizing I thought that by really bringing top of mind of who I am the human, that I am, the professional, that I am it would show me more of who I am not. But this thought of that I get to be made all that work way easier.

And it was this evolution of what you just said that when I'm in flow state, when I have all these things, when I have this clarity of what I'm doing and how I'm doing it, it's never the same. I mean there might be through lines here and there and common ground, but over the years it's. I think everyone here can relate. If you've asked this question at least twice, then there's a reason because you're a different person. Who you are has grown and evolved. You might have a lot of those attributes and characteristics that you're carrying with you, but the fact that you're asking that question again means you are advancing, means that you are growing. So it's really the fact that you get to be. You get to be whoever you want, you get to sit and think about who I am, who I am not, and that is going to grow and take you a lot of different places over the years. So just a little personal time I think I wanted to share on top of that.

0:59:01 - Speaker 2 Chase, listen man. I think that's amazing and I think, if you're listening to this podcast, you're ahead of 99% of people, because it means that you're like I want to improve myself, which means you're ahead of 99% of people who are like I'm just going to keep doing what life throws at me, I'm just going to go with the river, Like you're making a conscious decision to say I want to be the best me, and that alone puts you ahead of the crowd. No, I think that's amazing, that's great.

0:59:28 - Speaker 1 I'm going to have all the information in the book shared down below for everybody. A theory of everyone. You guys got to check out this book. I have so many other sections left to review and other ones I've marked I want to go back to. It. Makes me scratch my head, like I said at the beginning of the conversation, makes me scratch my head, and I love looking at concepts of humanism and technology and evolution and just the more questions we can ask. Looking back as to how we got here, at least for me, helps me understand where I am now today and best options to move forward, because just moving forward for the second moving forward is only going to take you so far If you don't have that true understanding of. Hey, let me pause and take a look back to not only my journey but the collective we's journey. There's so much more information there to serve us for our future endeavors.

1:00:19 - Speaker 2 Absolutely.

1:00:20 - Speaker 1 Absolutely.

1:00:21 - Speaker 2 This has been awesome Chase. Now this is fantastic. I really enjoyed this.