daniel on systemic change

Neurohackers Advice on What We Must Do to Stop the End of Civilization | Daniel Schmachtenberger with @TomBilyeu

via michel fb share:

How can we think in complex ways that respect the interconnected nature of existence [30:41] It’s much easier to break things than it is to build complex systems [35:39] Tom and Daniel discuss whether it’s possible to nudge people in the right direction [38:16] Social media will lead us to war even though no one wants it [46:01] Daniel and Tom discuss the connections between high school bullying and terrorism [51:12] If you aren’t considering counter-responses, you are just being emotionally hijacked [58:56] People’s minds are the battlefield [1:04:17] There are no authorities that are trustworthy enough to just assume they are right [1:09:59] Do you want to be effective or do you want to be right? [1:15:15] Daniel explains how people become fundamentalist about things they are wrong about [1:19:45] Debates are often not about understanding. They are just dogfights. [1:28:48]

notes/quotes from 2 hour video – jun 2020

got to study what i wanted.. my curriculum became.. what’s wrong w world and how to fix

my parents thought.. kids have deep curiosity.. and school mostly doesn’t facil their questions.. so when kid asks.. why is sky blue.. whatever.. they’re actually very deep questions.. there’s a lot that goes into it that naturally starts to unfold that helps people understand a lot of topics.. in interconnected rather than fragmented way.. if you follow the curiosity.. but most parents/teachers don’t know how to answer those things

imagine if we just focus on facil-ing 8b daily curiosities  ie: cure ios city

3 min – if they didn’t know the answer.. it was.. let’s go see how to figure that out.. also something even better was them asking me.. how do you think it might be.. so my answer wasn’t just instantly deferred to outside authority ..

not yet scrambled ness

but to take the interest and facil my own thinking on it.. but then to not just stay there but to investigate.. so it was facil-ing interest and facil-ing process of learning how to deepen knowledge/interest as it goes

2 convers as infra

if you learn some things.. you become aware of how much other adjacent stuff that’s interesting you don’t know is.. if you do that.. and don’t force kid to focus on and memorize stuff w fear of punishment.. that they have no interest in.. then you don’t break their interest in life.. and can facil deepened interest.. the things they really care about

itch-in-the-soul ness

4 min – t: so.. i’ve heard you talk about this in the perspective of how you create that next civilization.. people adopt things they’re really into

ie: cure ios city

5 min – like i said they (parents) had intuitions about things that were wrong w society that were related to how we developed humans.. and that kind of was a sense of how to do ed/parenting/family.. differently

whales in sea world ness

maté parenting law: there’s a confluence with the needs of the econ and the way we parent kids.. the more disconnected kids are .. the more they can fit into the econ  – Gabor Maté

if equity is everyone getting a go every day.. redefining public education becomes revolution of everyday life.. aka: global equity

it was very experimental.. they actually called us guinea pigs four

and it didn’t have the benefit of study montessori and waldorf and lots of other systems that had figured some things out..

yeah.. but that’s like your comment above.. like instantly deferring to authority answers (nicer version yeah.. but still  part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake.. there’s a nother way)

so there were a lot of mistakes that could have been prevented.. but they were also in their own.. authentic inquiry/interest

yeah.. has to be all of us for it to work.. in the city.. as the day..

it happened that my learning style innately worked better with what my parents knew how to do than what my brother did.. so he had to a bit of a rougher go because i think they expected his path to be more similar to mine.. and it took them a while to figure out he had a very diff set of interests and learning style..

again.. yeah.. has to be all of us for it to work.. in the city.. as the day

listen & connect to undo our hierarchical listening (even from loving/authentic parents.. even from self) ie: 2 convers as infra

perhaps we can have tech w/o judgment ie: tech as it could be

6 min – t: have you thought about how the way you grew up.. could be systematized and rolled out

quite a lot of course

t: so in terms of the ideal school system.. what does that look like

6 min – i think it’s less to think about it as an ideal school system and as a civilization.. cause by the time the kid goes to school.. they’ve already been profoundly imprinted.. already fully learned the language in which they think and all the ways that language predisposes patterns of thought.. they’ve already learned the beginning of emotional dispositions/values..

assuming all have a healthy home environ..

and then obviously if the ed system has to prepare kids for the workforce.. econ.. then it has to do things that would not make kids the healthiest/happiest.. as workforce changes.. role of ed gets completely retextualized

maté parenting law

7 min – so instead.. if you were to ask.. how would we redesign civilization from scratch.. that included the thing we call ed.. but also .. we mostly evolved in small villages.. where we didn’t just have two parents influencing us.. but a whole crew of people that we had deep connections with.. is even the nuclear family w/in a very large city.. where you don’t know hardly anyone else but have lots of interactions w other people.. and then mostly huge numbers of superficial interactions.. what does that do to develop humans.. so.. this question of ontological design.. we build environs.. whether schools or econ systems.. in the nature of the incentive of econ.. the perverse incentives in the econ system is conditions values in people.. whoever does better at getting the value systems that go along w the econ incentive system.. will end up getting more power in the system and thus continuing to evolve the system

supposed to’s of school/work making us all like whales in sea world

10 min – t: what is the big driver for you as far as waking up in the am and constructing a new civilization (had just talked about how to optimize one thing)

optimization theory itself is one of the underlying problems.. this is super important.. if we do stack ranking.. that software system if a complicated system.. as opposed to a complex system.. the software and the hardware it runs on.. didn’t self org.. we didn’t get spontaneous self org.. of (whatever) .. we got somebody.. did the lithography to make the computer chips.. there’s blueprints for the

complexity et al

11 min – in a complicated system you’ll notice.. hardware/software doesn’t repair itself if it gets harmed.. it doesn’t self evolve.. and the phase face of all the things it can do are fully explicated (analyzed) .. and it has formal causation.. if i hit this key.. this will happen

in complex systems.. like biology.. there isn’t a blueprint.. the genome isn’t a blueprint.. it’s a generator function to code new proteins under new environs.. where you can have it do things that it’s never done before if you expose it to a novel pathogen or environ.. so a generator function and a blueprint aren’t the same thing

organism as fractal ness

in a complex system also.. it does self heal/repair/evolve.. it’s diff in type.. so optimization theory from complicated systems.. the metaphor where we thought our minds were a clock when we figured out clocks.. before that native americans might have thought of the mind as an ecosystem.. but then we got a clock.. so now the mind is a computer.. so we pick whatever the metaphor we’re operating is.. but where the metaphor it really f’s stuff up.. so it can give you some partial insights.. and some really dreadful differences..

myth of machine .. what computers can’t do.. et al

12 min – so the defn of a complex system is that it has some emergent properties beyond what any complicated model of it assumes.. that the complicated model doesn’t show

? can’t show.. right?.. i think that t part\ial ness is killer to aliveness.. to organism as fractal ness

ie: try to make a software program for how cell works.. the cell will do some things that that model doesn’t do.. and as i keep making the model better.. it (cell) will keep doing some things that the model doesn’t do.. that’s what we call an emergent property.. what that means is.. my model of reality isn’t reality.. so if i think the model is the thing and i try to optimize for the model.. where the model and the thing are diff.. i actually destroy the real thing


whales in sea world et al

13 min – ie: i make a econ system.. simple math laws.. here’s how we max optimization.. might work.. but then lead to environ destruction

14 min – t: but when you say.. doesn’t work.. i need to get what you are optimizing for

ok.. so let’s say we’re optimizing for subjective happiness rather than objective measure.. or say.. max for happiness at individual level.. or say.. max for continuance.. (don’t think anyone would want these).. what i hear.. that i think you are trying to ask.. is.. what is fundamentally meaningful..

15 min – if we can act (i won’t use word optimize) in ways that benefit diff things.. you can say optimize but what you’re going to end up seeing is that it’s not optimizing a single metric

optimize: make the best or most effective use of (a situation, opportunity, or resource).. rearrange or rewrite (data, software, etc.) to improve efficiency of retrieval or processing.

let me make that clearer.. let’s say i value the lives of rhinos and i don’t want them to go extinct.. but i also value coral and kids and happiness of poets.. how many dead rhinos are worth dead coral.. dead kids worth lack of happiness.. how do i commensurate those metrics to be able to say what my algo of optimization is going to optimize for.. i have to do some kind of weighting.. and can’t account for all of it.. so whatever my optimization set is .. there will be things that matter outside of it that i have to continuously bring in

so .. deeper than that daniel .. we can go to a depth that does resonate w 8b people today.. and optimize (or whatever word) that.. ie: maté basic needs are deep enough.. let’s focus on and org around that..

we need to let go of using tech only for measuring.. let’s just use it for matching.. perhaps we can have tech w/o judgment ie: tech as it could be

16 min – so the optimization is for the evolutionary integrity of the whole or wholeness itself.. which is diff than how we think of theory of optimization.. so do we care about individual quality of life or just relationships..

all.. both.. has to be both/all.. we can facil that

‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows

17 min – i want to have my love of life have me want to keep growing.. not because of a dysfunctional drive.. how do we optimize for a virtuous cycle.. being doing becoming collectively.. and we start to go in the right direction

so let’s focus on fittingness

18 min – t: so basically this shit is complicated

daniel smiles.. he could be smiling for many reasons.. or not even smiling.. but my read was that he appreciates that people think it’s complicated.. and to me that perpetuates the mess we’re in.. because if it’s complicated.. we need people like daniel.. we need intellect ness.. to get us out of it.. when what we need is to create the conditions for people to listen to what is already in them.. no prep/training needed.. not too complicated.. just too noisy

i think what we need is a means  to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature

19 min – game b – coined by jordan hall, weinsteins, jim rutt.. at sante fe institute.. game a is game theory.. individuals, nations, et al.. competing to max benefit even if harms others/commons.. i wasn’t part of that crew..

game b – what would dynamics be if people show up and it doesn’t orient toward self termination

22 min – on kinds of value that are extractable and exchangeable that increase power.. creates a race to do that thing (ie: killing whales).. for power and security.. that kind of arms race.. multiplied by ability to increase the tech.. expos.. now in vertical..

28 min – ie (of optimization as bad).. covid.. if optimize for least deaths.. led to breakdown of supply chains for food.. we damaged food system for 2b people.. covid would have never killed that many.. the solution we implemented to a narrowly defined problem.. we create a worse problem

so let’s define to a wide/deep problem..

t: i’m not saying it needs to be narrowly defined

31 min – how do we think about interconnectedness.. not about one thing that matters.. but all the things.. and the relationships between them.. and then think about how to not just make individual choices but whole complexes of choices and the relationships.. is how we start to think about it properly.. and it’s a much higher complexity level of thinking

yeah.. i don’t know about ‘properly’ ness and ‘higher level’ ness.. you’re saying the right thing

so when i think about covid deaths.. also need to prevent icu overwhelm.. and other things.. domestic violence..

t: so we’re already failing to do it w covid.. do you think we can do it with a new civilization.. do you have thoughts on how we give a simple enough narrative where people can latch on and understand what we have to do here

excellent question..

we could t’s just facil daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city

33 min – for the most part.. we don’t even try to think about 2nd 3rd effects.. nobody’s trying to

t: do you think nobody’s thinking about it.. or that people aren’t listening.. ie: george floyd.. i wanted to try to see what was really going on.. mlk vs malcolm.. something about tapping into that aggression.. there’s an intoxication to rage.. is your message giving people that sexy message to tap into something that is aggressive and feels so powerful

ugh.. tapping into aggression.. won’t/hasn’t gotten us there

but yeah.. the listening thing.. what we need is a means to undo our hierarchical listening ie: 2 convers as infra

35 min – easier to break shit.. motivational complexes that break and motivational complexes that build complex things.. aren’t the same thing.. so yes.. power in that

t: what are the differences in those motivation types

36 min – i can’t stay enraged for all that long.. could stay long enough to break the house.. but not long enough to build it.. and the rage wouldn’t be the right frame of mind for me to learn the structural engineering.. et al.. for most part lympic and prefrontal inverse..

37 min – so .. what kind of motives are useful for what kind of goals is an important question.. to the degree that we want to build things that have complexity.. we have to be able to access places of our minds that have capability to think long term/complex

t: can we nudge people in a direction

not for long term.. not if you want to optimize energy of alive people

that’s why we need to undo our hierarchical listening 

that’s a great question that i want to take in a diff place.. so who is the we doing the nudging and who is the people that we want to think/feel differently.. how can we change their goals and manip their emotions to fit our goals

t: so this is exactly what i have given my life to.. ie: tried to get my mom to change lifestyle so she could live longer.. i realized i can’t.. found.. about 2% of people will listen and make radical change.. 98% hear the info.. may even get excited about it.. but they don’t do anything

that’s because we need to have our only global focus .. be on something 8b souls already crave (ie: your mom’s smoking is like the covid deaths)

40 min – t: so started to ask self.. how to get people to get a growth mindset.. who are actively opposed.. i have come to the conclusion.. story telling is the way to do that.. i need to hit early kids.. that stage where they are a sponge.. so that gave me the obsession.. that maybe you really can nudge people.. plant these ideas at the right time.. maybe there’s a 2nd 3rd consequence and i’m about to f everybody up.. but well intentioned.. so .. i’m at game a.. trying to figure out how to get more people to play game a well.. thru story

ugh.. as are so many people.. let go man

we have to trust that what’s needed most.. is already inside each of us.. we just need to create the conditions for all of us.. to listen deeper.. everyday

42 min – so .. how do we use emotionally compelling narratives/stories to control people to things we care about.. narrative warfare.. to serve agenda of narrative creator.. is the brunt of the unconventional warfare happening in world today.. how do we create confidence in narrative when knowledge landscape is so fractured

45 min – i would say we are in ww3 – an unconventional war – econ/narrative/political/trade.. kinetic is the last part that will back it up.. social media will move people into war even if no one wants to.. ie: tristan harris insights.. fb curations et al.. to max your attention.. whatever would emotionally get people.. is what they get more of.. makes us more extreme.. et al.. nothing better for co’s than the addiction of customers.. so each new platform has to offer more abnormal stimuli

54 min – get the enemy to weaken himself.. and increase that internal dissent.. so groups polarize more.. increasing likelihood that more people will do more harm.. and so much info.. how do you make sense of it.. so hijacked into nonsense or overwhelmed.. access to info isn’t the thing.. the ability to info process is

well.. i don’t think so.. i think what we need.. and are currently at perfect opp for.. is a global pause.. ie: not helpful to process info that is based on whales in sea world.. we need to reset back to .. like your early day.. just listening to 8b daily curiosities.. and using that data to augment our interconnectedness

59 min – you have no ability at all to play their game

t: so how are you making sense of this.. you can process data really well.. that average person can’t do

‘average person’ doesn’t make any sense.. something anyone can do.. if my map is wrong.. so ability to make good choices depends on my values.. so strategy 101.. if you aren’t factoring counter response.. you aren’t doing strategy.. if you’re not factoring 2nd 3rd world consequences.. probably making world worse.. so that all means you need to slow down.. our ability to do choice making well .. depends on our ability to sense make.. which is why controlling people’s sense making is the heart of the war that is happening

wow.. imho – so off base man.. not about defense.. not about choices.. we need to listen to and facil curiosity over decision making .. no strategies.. just listening

1:01 – power in game a is power over other people.. to enhance some goal i have

1:02 – rather than controlling people directly.. controlling what they think is a much more powerful way..

1:03 – when you say.. want to make more yoda’s.. you’re not trying to nudge people after a goal you have.. you’re trying to nudge people to become more sovereign and more part of my in group.. so trying to use power to make game of power less pathological.. which is a good/legit thing to do


1:04 – understanding these things already will help.. realize that people’s minds are the battle field and the treasure.. so think.. to what degree am i sovereign..

t: this is scary.. are my ideas my own

no.. we’re all like whales in sea world..

ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work.. been going on forever

1:07 – t: so my strategy.. physics of being human.. begin to understand how human mind words.. next thing.. weekly calls and try out ideas.. but i don’t have a useful way of going.. that was all false to begin with.. how do you build trust around info

1:09 – the idea that there are any authorities is not a real thing.. whatever is seen as legit authority.. and i can very easily manip stats.. and have true data.. but so focused that it’s not legit

i’m thinking currently.. all the data is non legit.. ie: from whales in sea world..

1:12 – (knowing these biases et al) .. this idea that i can find the parent/authority.. stops being a desirable goal.. and the desire to make sense of the world myself increase..

1:13 – so .. what things do we have high/low confidence on .. i like to find experts that disagree.. dialectic.. each have some truth.. rather than debate with winner.. there’s a co exploration

1:15 – t: i’m so obsessed with this.. trying to find a higher order truth.. i don’t think the screaming right now (ie: defund police) is going to get us to the more beautiful world.. most people don’t know what actual goal is.. rather than wanting to be right

1:18 – fav ted talk – on being wrong.. she asked.. what does it feel like to be wrong – audience said.. shameful et al.. she said.. no.. that’s what it feels like to find out you’re wrong.. but when wrong usually feel like you’re right


1:19 – on memes/dogmas.. that end up saying.. critical thinking is evil.. most world views have protector memes built in.. so even if i feel uncomfortable.. have reasoning/excuses/forces built in to keep the meme going

pluralistic ignorance et al

1:23 – people believe things less because they are true and more because they are useful to realize.. meeting some need.. or believing something else will damage that need.. and then they rationally back fill epistemology.. they didn’t do epistemology to come to the belief.. they emotionally came to the belief.. so rationalizing is the opposite of being rational.. being rational is not starting with religion.. being rational is starting with .. i don’t know.. let’s go thru the process to try all the hypothesis.. rationalizing is .. i jump straight to belief and now i’m going to create backfill rationale for it.. and pretend that that’s how i got there

yeah.. i don’t know.. why focus on all the hypothesis.. what are you trying to prove..? seems like wasting energy.. why not just focus on what you’re curious about.. the itch in your soul ness

i’ll give you an ie: binary politics and warfare et al..

all your ie’s are of whales in sea world.. no?.. in game a.. ness..?

1:28 – on anti intellectual ness being using as a tool

t: i feel for people when you’re not as smart as others.. and feel like intellect ness is moving you around

1:29 – this is why we like debates.. higher angel is wanting truth.. lower angel just watching a dog fight.. not trying to learn

blah blah blah – waste of energy

1:31 – t: charisma goes a long way.. exciting if doing it for good.. but unnerving too.. ie: i have a 2 hr arch of influence.. performative.. how do you get beyond being able to whip people into frinzy and thing critically

1:32 – why do we bother doing this at all (podcast).. let’s talk about a few things people can do.. trying to make them have an internal locus of control.. illegit power in game b sense.. trying to influence people toward my agenda.. legit power.. influence to be more self directed

1:34 – first thing is to realize how much you are not self determined.. and start changing that.. ie: quit sm.. find sources of news that are better than sm.. based on what seems to be good info

dang man.. let go.. it’s all non legit data.. go back to your earlier years.. needs to start w/in each person first.. that itch..

1:35 – go find groups that are opp to you (right or left).. if this is working .. you’ll be less certain about everything..

1:40 – not true that improving some subset of individuals will improve society.. member also improved by ie: ed et al.. so top down and bottom up

1:41 – when let go of desire to be right.. control via ego goes as well.. having a mindset that anything can come up.. that anything could change.. makes you much more resilient

1:43 – t: antifragility in terms of building new society.. an important thing.. what would that look like at the societal level.. it’s a failure of imagination for me.. i can’t imagine

ie: cure ios city.. to getting us all back/to antifragility

capitalism has been anti fragile.. it has continued to evolve its capacity.. barter to exchange by currency to fiat et al


t: what were the attacks on it that made it stronger?

if one capitalist group.. ie: another nation.. emerges.. and increases power

christianity.. as attacked by other ideologies.. got stronger.. antifragility not always good.. sometimes just getting better at warfare.. ie: trump

1:45 – ie: we know trump is diff.. polarizing.. but i think everyone knows he’s been effective at a particular thing.. unpredictability.. would invite opp poles into room and ask questions they weren’t primed to.. he’d keep a straight face.. listening to diff viewpoint


after listening.. looking to see if daniel had twitter yet.. no.. but neurohacker’s bio: Curating + creating the best resources for self-directed neurological optimization.

ha..optimization ness


so.. i think he’s got a lot of the right words/intellect.. but i don’t think he’s going deep enough for systemic change.. he still seems caught up in ie: at 59 min.. strategy 101 et al

wonder if he would consider a deep enough problem.. to org around.. or if he just wants to keep analyzing everything.. ?

your upbringing.. where your parents facil’d your curiosity.. don’t you think we have the capability to organize an infra to offer that to 8b people.. ie: 2 convers as infra

(he said yes) – let’s do that then..  ie: listen for the itch in 8b souls everyday.. and use that data to augment our interconnectedness

don’t we have the tech capability to take in 8b inputs everyday.. and use that to connect us..?

global systemic change et al.. totally possible today


1\ undisturbed ecosystem (common\ing) can happen

2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b free people


daniel on nonrivalrous structure