adding page while listening to this convo of Daniel Schmachtenberger and Jordan Greenhall (co-founders of neurohacker)

feb 2018 – How We Lost Our Sovereignty, and How to Get It Back


2 min – Daniel intro’ing Jordan – on building better systems.. he kind of retired and went to sfi joined the team there.. became part of the board of trustees.. and spent a number of years studying complex systems.. already had a strong background in history and law and sci fi.. futurism.. philosophy.. and started really thinking about .. how do we guild viable future complex systems.. started a project there called game b.. which is.. if game a of current civilization model is end of life.. what does game b look like.. and that’s when he and i met.. and started working in that space.. then when we started neurohacker.. i was delightedly surprised it was something he wanted get into.. because he hadn’t been working in the medicine.. biotech space..



4 min – jordan: whether you are playing game a or b.. you are playing these games with/for people.. so.. consequence of people playing.. ie: level of well being.. limited by beliefs..?  simultaneously .. game a is designed to not have that much dependence on the well being capacity of discrete human beings.. it’s .. fit into this square.. whereas game b more dependent on sovereignty of individuals playing the game..

6 min – jordan: largely a consequence of the fact that game a doesn’t care that much  people – although well-being et al a part of it – doesn’t need them to be well rounded and capable… tends to produce quite significant *limitations and constraints in human capacity.. so end up in a situation where .. even if reasonably effective in  building out a lot of the elements in game b.. ie: alt econ model.. if human beings who are coming out of game a don’t have ability to play game b.. then it’s a non starter.. so that was the impetus for me to begin looking in the space.. and then.. that’s where you’d (daniel) spent a substantial fraction of your life

*black science of people/whales law.. imagine a turtle ness

daniel: so you said.. if the people don’t actually have the well being and the sovereignty.. to be able to play a diff game.. their ability to be healthy.. whole.. outside of that narrow niche (from game a).. and since the narrow niche usually doesn’t require them *self-assessing what needs done outside of the narrow boundaries.. we can actually squish people into kind of narrow ai’s or robots.. right?

*imagining self-talk as data.. for detox/shell-restoration..

7 min – d: so.. this is very diff.. this is almost like the intersection of education and personal development and health .. all together

as it should be.. no..? eduaimonia.. embodiment .. not part\ial.. ness

j: the fact that we’ve partitioned those into 3 domains.. is part of the problem


15 min – j: why i moved from where i was into the domain of well being.. i had identified that while we’re actually making really good progress in places like say *blockchain in moving econ systems.. and in decentralized media and software moving media systems.. i .. at least at the time was not aware of anything meaningful being done in the domain of well-being.. and **these things are all connected .. so we actually have to be thinking about all of it at once.. and ***how they all fit together.. if we want to make this transition from a to b happen

*wow.. really..? not using it systemically.. so.. seems like a total distraction

**yeah. that. ie: short\bit

***or perhaps.. how some become irrelevant..  ie: money less ness

16 min – d: from the business supply side.. addiction is profitable.. so find out ways to market really well.. so.. ie: addicted to (junk) food that also causes diabetes.. so gdp goes up in both cases (food and pharma)


17 min – j: because of some of the deep characteristics of game a.. ie: money on money return.. primary way to win at game a is to increase the rate at which your money is making more money

21 min – d: on neurohacker episodes.. been talking.. things to do in health and well ness space that couldn’t be done there right now.. 1\ the financial *incentives in current system are wrong.. if preventing illness means you don’t sell product et al.. so we focused on.. **is there a way to get out of the financial incentive trap.. and then also 2\ the epistemology is wrong.. it narrows too much.. ie: name disease and have one surgery.. rather than working with the complexity generating it

believing that thinking we need *incentives is red flag we’re doing it (life) wrong

perhaps **this way: short bp

25 min – j: (on ways blockchain can change the financial structures) the notion of finance in general.. 1\money represents the ability of human beings to abstract.. the ability to take something which is a sign of something and replace it for the thing itself.. ie: $2 reps the potential for me to get an apple when i want it.. problem is you have this interesting gap.. between the thing itself .. the value.. and the indicator.. the sign of the value.. and you can have this (money) show up like crazy.. w/o any regard to the value of this (the apple)

26 min – j: there’s a meaningful amount of tom foolery in econ.. stories about money and value .. that they are always directly connected.. that’s not the case.. they can be.. and that’s why *money is very useful..  but ie: counterfeiting.. just changes the money side.. i think in a lot of cases.. financial services shows up a whole lot like counterfeiting.. lots of money/signs.. but object little or not value

*how so..?

27 min – another thing that happens w money.. 2\ money is a kind of allocation of choice making that we’re investing in in our economy.. say.. every dollar you have is a vote in what the econ does.. so the way that finance allocates money also shows up as the way our society allocates choice making.. no reason to believe that the people that are most capable of playing the game of finance are also the most capable of making good choices in what the econ should be producing.. in fact there’s very good reason to believe that’s not the case

thinking umair’s post on .. fighting capitalism w capitalsim

28 min – j: now.. shifting to blockchain.. on one hand.. because bc doesn’t make a lot of sense to people who haven’t studied cryptography or have a deep deep sense of tech/tech-trends..  the people who showed up being the earliest *winners in the bc space are a diff population than the people who were winning the finance game for the last 80 yrs.. so now.. finance folks are scrambling like crazy to try and figure out how to re establish their dominance in the bc space..  even though bc is.. unfortunately characterized by concentrated wealth.. it’s also characterized by concentrated wealth in the hands of a diff set of choice makers.. who at least so far.. have a higher degree of capacity to **perceive real problems.. and ***compose real solutions..

*winners.. why talking winners in complexity..? and moreso.. what does winners mean..? more money..?

**indeed.. perhaps.. but not the ones that are deep enough.. (ie: for 7 bn to resonate with today).. that’s why.. we’re still spinning our wheels.. talking about winners.. talking about money.. et al..

***let’s try bc or holochain or whatever for ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..

29 min – j: there’s a big diff between money as we currently understand it and the way that the bc shows up.. ie: bc is a ledger.. safe from modifications.. and this is true at both techno and ethos level.. there’s something about the ethos of the bc community that thinks about.. keeping good records as being important.. to be sure.. a lot in the bc community want to be off govt’s radar.. but i think that’s subsidiary to the underlying foundation of the tech.. it does enable us to have more.. triple accounting

31 min – j: then get to last piece.. very esoteric but worth trying to scratch the surface on  3\ the bc enables us to use money as a variable in a software system.. as code.. which allows us to be thoughtful about *designing motivational and .. game theoretic choice making infra.. so as to solve this problem we talking about earlier

*why? – why motivational.. why game theoretical (the branch of mathematics concerned with the analysis of strategies for dealing with competitive situations where the outcome of a participant’s choice of action depends critically on the actions of other participants. Game theory has been applied to contexts in war, business, and biology)

i see both incentives and competition as cancerous to well being

we need to redefine decision/choice making.. ie: not about better ledgers .. about better listening.. ie: mech for listening everyday to all the voices.. (has to be all for the dance to dance).. we have the means for that if we free up time/space/energy from irrelevants.. (ie: money, motivation, measuring, ..)

32 min – j: (this problem we talking about earlier ) the problem.. how to you move.. high variable complex systems form one *basin of attraction to another basin of attraction.. and we can actually do this right now w a very simple ie which is bitcoin itself.. as the first major instantiation of bc.. bitcoin was able to solve a problem that up until that point had completely unsolved.. ie: imagine paypal.. it was  pretty successful co.. but what it was trying to do.. a new form of money.. was a fail.. w lots of really good people.. whereas bitcoin.. more or less designed by 3 or 4 people seems to have succeeded.. there is actually an accelerated group of people who are **using this thing.. and the way they did that is by understanding that they’re actually dealing w a ***complex system

*? basin of attraction: An attractor’s basin of attraction is the region of the phase space, over which iterations are defined, such that any point (any initial condition) in that region will eventually be iterated into the attractor. For a stable linear system, every point in the phase space is in the basin of attraction.

**using it.. as money.. ? or as insurance.. stock..?

***now making me think of scale.. and of thinking something is fractal and/or alive.. when it’s not (of course i could be all wet.. but i do think this is a huge miss and why we haven’t yet gotten to global equity)

36 min – j: best thing medical could do is go blockchain.. for their problem w pharma being too expensive..

ie: in ethereum .. have created own private software language.. all code in ethereum is intrinsically open.. .so .. sitting on shoulder of giants.. right there.. no re inventing wheel.. and incentivized via contracts for sharing.. et al.. could do same in pharma.. the people doing the work have an incentive that is not.. publish or perish..

again.. i’m thinking we need *incentives is red flag we’re doing it (life/health/med-profession) wrong

40 min – j: ie: i submit my data from sleep study.. available for others..  get paid for it

perhaps in this case..thinking if we need *incentives .. money again.. we’re collecting the wrong data..  what if we collected diff data.. which resulted in no need for sleep studies.. pharma.. policing.. et al

imagine if data collected is daily curiosity.. and incentive i guess.. would be that you want to connect with your tribe.. to do the thing you can’t not do.. that day.. local..

41 min – j: that (infra in center as commons.. innovation on periphery) is frankly in the frame of doability now..

so is self-talk as data via 2 convos ..  as it could be

the amount of money now being wasted.. between ie: hospitals and pharma.. vastly more than enough to resource the infra i’m talking about..

imagine the energy we are wasting by not waking us up first.. from all the stimulated thinking.. that is probably the greatest source of our un health.. no..?

vastly vastly more

43 min – d: so really what you’re talking about is being able to change the info ecology.. the incentives.. that incentivize hoarding info.. making it hard for others to use.. ie: paid for patents..

j: so.. 1/ the ability to keep records.. or as Michael Vassar puts it .. ability to actually keep justice.. which he defines as.. making sure that the loops are closed.. to radically increase the quality of the records being kept.. so closing more and more loops.. which is creating more and more justice..

wow..  let’s disengage from all that. too muchness.. aka: B and b.. via ie: gershenfeld sel

44 min – d: as soon as you say more justice.. you also mean.. more incentive to do the right thing rather than the wrong thing..

ie: gershenfeld sel

j: yeah.. and intrinsically.. it’s not that people have to become more pro bono.. it’s that the good things they do will be noticed and rewarded

how is that intrinsic..? w having to be noticed and rewarded..?

j: and the bad things they do will be noticed and punished.. done.. simple.. pretty straight forward.. if people have a framework.. they will begin to move in that direction and they will move in that direction on mass..

so .. who are the inspectors of inspectors going to be..? yeah we’ve got all this recorded.. but who’s deciding what’s good and bad.. what the measure of reward/punishment is al.. you’re tweaking game a.. no?

44 min – j: the other has to do w the defn of 2\ the theory of the firm..

45 min – d: i think a lot of people think that market does what you just said.. we live in capitalism.. based on market theory – reward/punish the good/bad.. so .. why is that not true

j: i think a big part of it is this notion that gold hath no smell.. inability to perceive all the diff ways that somebody might actually falsify (ie: did they steal the apples) the stuff the market actually needs.. to make good choices..


46 min – j: if everybody playing the market game is self enforcing to do the right thing..then the markets will actually tend to do a pretty good job.. but since markets outsource social norms.. laws.. etc.. that’s the channel you gain


wish we could talk.. really think incentive ness is the poison..

to daniel.. the reason why market is not working.. ie: we’re measuring in order to incentivize.. but that’s the dehumanization piece that keeps us from our intrinsic good..

52 min – j: coase: why have co’s.. transaction costs

58 min – j: what is the abundance of econ.. how do i appropriately incentivize creative people.. so that profit based on scarcity is not the right solution

1:00 – j: imagine taking the most creative people to focus on well being.. can you imagine how much more effective we would be.. i can’t even imagine.. like a 100x almost immediately.. like w/in weeks

exactly.. now imagine we assumed we were all creative.. that we need all of us for well being to reach it’s max.. imagine that.. it’d be a global leap to eudaimoniative surplus via energy from 100% of the people..

j: the stuff people have been doing to keep themselves busy goes away.. because of game a.. we’re actually quite addicted to being busy.. which is the problem.. that’s actually the issue of abundance

norton productivity law

1:01 – j: this is why ubi is simultaneously a good idea and a terrible idea..  good: people don’t starve;  bad: people addicted to being busy who can no longer be busy.. ends up being one of the core problems that needs to be addressed.. and thought thru and experimented with.. *how do we rather rapidly.. train people to kick their addiction to being busy.. and relearn.. the capacity to engage w the world/life..t.. authentically.. and w/o any necessity of being busy at all.. i believe that’s the emergency crisis

*2 convos .. as the day.. as detox

1:02 – j: the new tech market is going to be to help people relearn how to meet their needs.. w/o being busy

affluence w/o abundance ness

1:03 – d: people have id wrapped up in what they do to make money.. requires new type of ed.. so again.. intersection of ed, personal development, health.. could you do history of ed.. then what ed should look like..

1:06 – j: many ways to do ed.. when america looked.. 3 ideas  1\ german model – subject matter.. expert.. conveys content .. to receiver.. student learns.. teacher also demos info transfer via tests.. so it’s closed.. question.. how much a particular score matters.. c could be worth more than a  .. other model 2\ oxford cambridge – student responsible for consuming into.. reading/interviewing/learning.. then have a tutor.. for interaction.. but tutor not responsible for conveying/evaluating.. that way.. more standardized scores/grades..  3\ guild model – largely conveying this that can’t be done thru info transfer.. ie: carpentry, medicine.. apprentice associates w master.. who puts them on path.. and by doing.. student gains capacity

1:11 – j: we locked into.. hand off.. from ed vertical (do this to get to that) to work vertical.. ie: getting a job… reasonably good for conveying rote info.. ed and econ systems of that era.. very similar to each other

1:13 – j: any kind of doing same thing over and over..  so k-12.. wide variety of content.. but what is the same is this core architecture of broadcast authority and narrow focused recipient.. that power structure is precisely what is sought in industrial civilization.. that’s the key thing to think about.. the output of that.. people who have lost individual capacity to create their own id.. sovereignty.. w/o someone else’s scripts..

supposed to law

1:16 – d: goal was to not look at the whole..  so have to really shift that

j: everybody has to actually shift..

not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake

1:17 – d: ed system was about subjecting to authority and people lost their sovereignty.. would you define sovereignty

1:18 – j: we don’t mean same thing jefferson meant.. or freeman movement means..  basic proposition.. sovereignty represents your capacity to be an effective agent in the world..

1\ (sensory input – sentience) ability to have accurate perception of what’s going on in the world.. if you can’t perceive.. can’t make good choices.. respond effectively..  and

2\ (perception – intelligence) ability to make sense of those perceptions.. like if overwhelmed by too much input.. or don’t have right frame to take in what you see  and

3\ (action – agency) then take a look at what you could do.. (jordan said 4/) actuation on those choices..

()’s above on 3 parts..  from daniel’s recap

1:20 – j: almost like spherical geometry to these.. ie: if out of balance.. so want to make sure sphere is as round as it can be.. then expand.. all parts increasing

1:22 – j: w/humans.. have greater capability to perceive then to act.. but as a species we have an enormous actuation capacity.. but sense making miniscule.. so individuals.. have this sovereignty.. and then cluster into groups.. and groups have same dynamics..

1:26 – d: only all 3 (need all 3) ends up being adaptive..

j: we could do this complicated/complex.. ie: being in a high quality sphere is uncertain.. in that case.. sphere is best geometry

1:27 – d: fighter pilot vs taking care of child.. always round.. just diff rounds based on environ

1:28 – j: all of us in some sense have ptsd.. all of us in some sense have lost our intrinsic human sovereignty.. to become who we want to be.. and have become very specialized and separated from our core capacity

holmgren indigenous law.. black science of people/whales law.. higashida autism law.. and imagine a turtle..

d: so what does ed for sovereign beings look like

1:29 – j: what happens to the ed/german model.. in a pace of accelerating change.. the thing for which this was useful.. is becoming obsolete at light speed.. so have to unwind a lot of that.. ie: you’re going to be in (a job) 10 000 a day.. so only way is to max your individual sovereignty.. your capacity to operate where you are.. ie: what is needful now.. and how to build that capacity.. learning about how to learn.. learning *how to have the stick to it ive ness to learn what you have to learn..

that would be finding the thing you can’t not do.. finding your insatiable curiosity.. so that ie: the thing i’m sticking to.. is me ness

1:31 – j: really deep fundamental core capacities that are completely absent for current ed

d: key thing.. never becomes it.. is at an id level

1:32 – j: yeah.. i’m not a fighter pilot.. i do fly fighters.. sometimes..  moving to a state where you are not the games you play.. you play games.. but you are not the games you play

d: for most people in game a.. game a is already defined.. in school.. answers already set.. company same thing.. don’t have to self assess.. have to work toward goals other people have set.. so for most.. how to regulate yourself.. is overwhelming

1:33 – j: so the need to self assess.. the notion that we’re going to be able to tell everybody what to do is not very reasonable.. and terrible if could pull it off.. so .. reclaim sovereignty

cure ios city

1:35 – j: in any finite domain.. exploring at beginning good.. but if you become that thing that’s optimizing.. get diminishing returns.. and lost ability to move out

d: so.. when we think about optimizing humans for sovereignty .. so they could move between.. there’s obviously ed involved.. in terms of how to learn new skills.. meta ed..

1:38 – j: really bad feedback loop – w market et al

perpetuating broken feed back loop

1:42 – d: originally demand drives supply.. then supply also drives demand..

1:44 – j: all components are needed for well being.. the core answers to all the problems end up being very similar.. bring it back to core capacities.. can’t do any if don’t have them..

maté basic needs

1:46 – j: balance between.. niche production.. intrinsic adaptive capacity.. if come to point where you can have full responsibility for won well being and niche in which you live..  that has endurance characteristic that cannot be achieved thru any other evolutionary strategy

eudaimoniative surplus


follow neurohacker:

link twitter

Curating + creating the best resources for self-directed neurological optimization. Help us create a better future for all.

Encinitas, CA


ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way