The Darien Gap & Postmodernism | Bret Weinstein | EP 434

Dr. Jordan B. Peterson sits down with evolutionary biologist, author, and podcaster Dr. Bret Weinstein. They discuss the migration crisis, what values make up the “American Identity,” the potential for defining the transcendent, the origins of mutual reciprocity, and how the founding fathers codified these ideas into guidelines for the most functional nation in history.

Dr. Weinstein is an evolutionary biologist who specializes in adaptive trade-offs. His current focus is on the interaction between genetic and cultural evolution. He has studied tent-making behavior in neotropical bats and worked for 14 years as a professor at The Evergreen State College. He has testified to the U.S. Congress, and been a visiting fellow at Princeton University. He hosts the DarkHorse Podcast and is a New York Times best-selling author. Bret has been a frequent guest on The Joe Rogan Experience and has done live events with Richard Dawkins, Jordan Peterson, Eric Weinstein, Peter Boghossian, Sam Harris, Douglas Murray and has been interviewed by Bill Maher, Russell Brand, Glenn Loury, Dax Shepard, Tucker Carlson, Megyn Kelly, Glenn Beck, Bari Weiss, Derrick Jensen, and Lex Fridman, among many others.

This episode was recorded on January 26th, 2024

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(0:00) Tour update 2024
(0:40) Coming up
(0:57) Intro
(3:51) What people aren’t paying attention to
(5:10) Michael Yon, Panama, seeing the Darien Gap up close
(7:40) Immigration and an “invasion” are both happening
(10:06) Why are Chinese immigrants crossing the southern border?
(11:35) The Darien Gap is a roadless no man’s land
(12:57) Chinese immigrants are housed separately and strictly off-record
(17:48) The two migrations fuse in Panama, is one cloaking the other?
(23:23) What you need to ask of those immigrating to a new country
(31:41) The unobvious structure of the migration crisis
(36:51) We were deceived with Multiculturalism
(43:22) Lineage versus lineage, and why the American system is better
(53:08) Using large language models to map out abstracted connections
(56:39) Culture is a means to an end, why evil must be defined through narrative
(1:02:35) Sex is only a fraction of reproduction, sacrifice and true continuance
(1:07:01) Perceptual bias, religious belief, and the practice of science
(1:15:08) Defining the religious through the hierarchy of dependency
(1:23:33) The hierarchy of repairability, the sacred and the shamanistic
(1:29:56) The Omega Principle
(1:32:52) We are somewhere entirely new in history

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Hello everyone I'm pleased to announce My new tour for 2024 beginning in early February and running through June Tammy And I an assortment of special guests Are going to visit 51 cities in the US You can find out more information about This on my website as well as accessing All relevant ticketing information I'm Going to use the tour to walk through Some of the ideas I've been working on My forthcoming book out November 2024 we Who wrestle with God I'm looking forward To this I'm thrilled to be able to do it Again and I'll be pleased to see all of You again soon Bye-bye I'm not interested as I know you Are not in a world where well-being is Perfectly evenly distributed even if it Were possible a world in which Everything is evenly distributed is a World that is punishing people who Contribute more and rewarding people who Contribute Less [Music] Hello everybody I had the great pleasure Today of speaking with Brett Weinstein Who I've talked to a fair bit and who Has mediated some of the debates I had With Sam Harris and uh you know our Conversations have been very productive Across the last it's getting to be seven Or eight years we started today by

Talking about the Darian Gap and the Problem of immigration and we moved from That to the solution to that problem um After analyzing not least the fact that Immigration conducted in this manner is Very hard on the people who are Immigrating you know traversing the Jungle as they have to being robbed and Raped in consequence it's a very Halfhazard way of going about whatever The hell is going on we talked about That then in broader terms with regards To the relationship between the fact of That uncontrolled and unrestrained Immigration um like that's a Pathologization of something that's Necessary and something that's also Producing a somewhat of a constitutional Crisis at the moment we talked about That in relationship to broader Conceptions of multiculturalism per se And talked about the advantages and Disadvantages to that diversification of Society and we went from there deeper I Would say into a discussion of what it Is that might necessarily be key to Unifying a society even in the face of a Diverse plurality so that it becomes Maximally productive generous and Sustainable across time and that led us Into a discussion of as Brett put it the Sacred and the shamanic as two Manifestations of that which is deepest So join us for the ride hello sir it's

Been a while since we talked um how are You doing I'm doing all right it's great To see you Jordan as always sorry to Hear about your troubles up in Canada oh Yeah people bring that up and uh it kind Of surprises me because I forget about It fairly quickly it's so absurd and Preposterous that it's hard to take it With any degree of seriousness I I think It's partly because it's more serious For other people in some ways than it is For me I mean there's not much they can Do to me they can damage my reputation a Little bit oh I don't know I think They're probably fueling your reputation Um but you know it's a badge of honor That they would go after you this way it Uh it's definitely Flack over the target Yeah well at some point to it becomes Necessary to stop your association with People who have deviated from the Appropriate course to dramatically so And I have to figure out how to Negotiate that tell me Brett what are You up to like what does your life look Like right now what are you working on What what sort of problems are you and Your wife start trying to solve Intellect Practically where are you in your Life uh that's a good question at the Moment my uh mind is racing having just Come back from Panama and looking at the Migration coming through the Darian Gap

That was a shocking experience even Though I was pretty well-versed in the Details of what was going on seeing it Has changed a lot of things in my Thinking so that's one thing I'm also Quite focused on the fact that the covid Disaster whatever its actual nature was Is something that we've reached a lot of Clarity at Great cost but because we are Not having a a final discussion about What took place the the folks who made This happen the folks who orchestrated It seemed to be building the structures That would have allowed them to defeat The dissidents and most people are not p Pay attention to those changes and I Have the sense that we're being set up For a rematch and it will not go well if We don't uh derail their Efforts okay so you're you've been Con Well okay so let's put those together a Little bit you you were down in Panama With Michael ywn if I remember correctly I do know this I was thinking about Coming along although that became Impossible at the present time for a Variety of reasons not least because I'm Trying to finish up my most recent book But you were down there and you took a Look so tell me about going down there Tell me what the advantages were of Actually being there and maybe also the Potential disadvantages I Mean looking at it from a distance

Obviously has its costs but looking at It close makes it extraordinarily Personal and so I'm curious about how You've how you what you've concluded how You've recalibrated your views what you Think is going on there what you saw and Then we'll talk more perhaps about well Let's start with what's going on my Understanding is that essentially the Migration levels into the us from the South have doubled per year from their Alltime high so there were something Like 1.3 million people coming across The border in various forms say 20 years Ago and that was kind of a peak and then It declined quite precipitously for a Number of years and now it's doubled From that at least doubled from that Peak so is that your understanding and And what did you see well that's exactly The kind of thing that is impossible to Assess based on Direct observation Obviously you want data over a long Period of time at every uh place where People are are crossing and I I couldn't Get that the the truth is I was Unsure why I was going I felt very Strongly that I needed to see it but I Couldn't explain to myself what that was Going to change because I had seen so Much of the documentation before and What I discovered was that my intuition That I should see it in person was quite Right that what changed was not so much

Looking through one's own eyes versus Looking through a camera lens but the Understanding of physically how things Are distributed in space is not Something you can even pick up from the Map you have to you have to Traverse Some of these distances in order to see Uh what's taking place and to give you An example of what that Changes the there there's obviously a Terminology problem we have lots of People talking in terms of an invasion Of the us and we have other people Talking about a Migration and what I came to understand In looking at this is that it's actually Both things and not the same there's Clearly a huge wave of people they are Fleeing poverty and the collapse of Their Societies they are migrating North for economic reasons and this Becomes quite apparent when you talk to People in uh the camps there these Transit camps where people who have just Walked out of the Jungle in the Darian Gap are spending time recovering And uh in large measure accumulating Enough money to buy a bus ticket almost Everybody gets robbed walking through The Darian Gap and so they arrive with Nothing um and anyway they spend time in These camps and you can walk around and Speak with them often there are language

Barriers but the interesting thing is Everybody seems eager to talk and they All say the same thing when you ask them Why it's always about money and Um you know I I don't mean to trivialize It obviously many of our ancestors Migrated because of the poverty uh of Their their home countries and the Comparative opportunity they found in The new world but what it isn't is People seeking political Asylum that's The excuse that's used at our Southern Border in the US but it's absolutely not True not a single person said anything Remotely like the idea that they were Were Being being oppressed or Target they Were not being persecuted so on the one Hand there is this large migration of People understandably looking for Opportunity And the problem is that the rules of our System say that that's not a Justification for entering the country Because to the extent that people are Entering the country for economic Reasons they do so at the cost to Americans who are already here and it's Obviously the obl ation of our Government to protect the interests of The citizens and this is a failure in That regard but what becomes apparent When you look at this migration it has a Certain character to it it's

Recognizable and not so different from The waves of migration that we used to See come up from Central America but there is this other movement Of large numbers of People they are Chinese they are housed Separately this is the thing that's Really hard to understand is that they Effectively mix into this massive Migration of economic Refugees having traveled a different Route most of the Chinese migrants are Actually skipping the tribulations of The derian Gap by boat and they are Housed in different places and when one Attempts to go talk to them there are Two obstacles to getting any information One is that the Border uh the Border Authorities the ca front forbids access To the camp where the Chinese migrants Are housed now some of the members of Senafront are clearly not happy about The job that they have been told to do But nonetheless that organization Brett What's that Organization senafront it is effectively The Panamanian border Authority okay the Panamanian border Authority and do you Want tell people exactly what the Darian Gap is sure um the Darian Gap is a 60m Gap in the Pan-American Highway the Panamic highway runs 177,000 miles from Prudo Bay Alaska to the southern tip of South America and there's only one place

Where you can't Traverse it by Road and That's in the Darian province of Panama Where Panama meets Colombia and what Exist there is um a formidable jungle it Is Uh an extremely treacherous place even Just at the physical level of Crossing It it's something that requires a great Deal of skill um to get across it and Most of the migrants do not have the Requisite skills they certainly don't Have the equipment and there's a human Tragedy unfolding in the Darian Gap as a Result of the fact that these people are Being encouraged to to come across but That piece of road has never been Completed in part because the jungle is Difficult but in large measure because That part of Panama is effectively Ungoverned um it's a no man's land um in Addition to being a an ecological Treasure um unique on Earth and uh even More special because so much of the more Accessible jungle in the neotropics has Been devastated by various processes uh Mining uh illegal uh Lumber extraction Etc well you you were talking about the Chinese migration which you know sounds To me like a complete bloody mystery so Like what SCA on what scale is this Occurring why are the Chinese housed Differently who are they why are you Forbidden you said there were obstacles To talking to them one was the

Panamanian border authorities you had You had made made illusion to another Obstacle so let's continue with the Discussion of the Chinese so the other Obstacle is the Chinese themselves who Are absolutely not forthcoming in a way That is utterly Conspicuous now I've been to many places On Earth some of them dangerous I've Encountered people who were reluctant to Talk because they feared some Authority Would get wind of what they had said and That they would be punished this did not Feel like that at all these were people Who were not interested in conveying Information about why they were Migrating And in fact their tone to the extent That one interacted with them at all was Mocking of us for our interest in fact There was one incident where Michael Yan Who has spent time in China uh and all Over the World was uh trying to strike a strike Up a conversation and this one uh Gentleman uh pretended to be Korean and Not Chinese and um Michael caught him um He induced him to say something in Chinese and there was laughter uh Amongst all of the folks sitting there They thought this was quite funny but Nonetheless um the the Chinese migration Is not entirely men but it is heavily Biased in favor of men they appear to be

Young and fit um military age for the Most part the Chinese Camp I realized Only after I had left that I did not not See children there that's very different Than the other migrants many of whom Have children um and and they were Everywhere in in the other camps so There's something very special about Whatever is going on with the Chinese Migrants and it is very odd that the Very same border Authority that would Not allow us uh into the the Chinese Camp a place called San Vente um were perfectly happy to have us Walk around the other camp we were free To walk around and take photographs it Was night and day different how they Treated the two groups and for no Obvious reason is there any sense do you Do you have any sense of comparative Numbers say of the economic migrants Versus The Mysterious Chinese Migrants and any sense of why this Difference exists and and what does Michael yon think about that difference Just out of Curiosity that is a great question Michael is obviously quite concerned About the meaning of the Chinese Migration is a separate matter and you Know I must say just for the benefit of Uh Clarity to your audience um my view Is that is one of compassion for the Chinese people who I view as living

Under an oppressive regime and to the Extent that that oppressive regime is is An enemy of my country I view people who Are being uh oppressed by it Sympathetically but I did not have the Sense that I was looking at people Fleeing that regime I had the sense that I was looking at people who were Um migrating at the encouragement of That regime now I can't say that that's Definitely true but that was definitely The flavor of it um as we were Attempting to understand what we were Saying I don't know what the comparative Numbers are I know that we're talking About um thousands of people a Day sometimes 10,000 that's a number That I heard described by people in a Position to know I also know it's very Clear on the ground that the expectation Is for those numbers to rise Considerably that there are elaborations Of these camps being constructed even What do considerably mean do you suppose Because that's about we we bandied Around the figure of about three three And a half million earlier in the Program and my understanding at the Moment is that that's the case I've Looked into the data to some degree and Tried update myself and to also view This in some historical perspective so What do you think substantive increase Means and do you don't have any real

Idea what percentage of those so-called Migrants are are the Chinese that you Described I don't and I also find it Fascinating that um that the two Migrations appear to fuse in in in Daran Panama there's no obvious reason for That to the extent that the Chinese are Coming in um by boat it's almost to me It Feels Like The Familiar uh economic migration is Cloaking something else that there's There's a deliberate choice to blend These two things so that people trying To discuss what's taking place will Mistake one for the other now I hope That's just my imagination right away With me but uh the distinction in the Demeanor of the migrants and the Behavior of those in charge of these Camps was unmistakable right well so What you have there for hard data so to Speak is the fact of the difference in The response of the authorities to the Presence of the two types of Camp right Because that begs an obvious question It's like well if it's nothing but one Thing why are there two processes right And I should also just for the sake of Completeness say that we did see some Chinese folks in the the main camps now I don't know what the meaning of that Exactly is we saw signs that were in Chinese and and the the migrants in the

Main camps were uh not for forthcoming Either uh so I I can't say what's taking Place but I can I can say that the one Of these migrations appears to be highly Organized and careful and the other one Is so disorganized uh as to be tragic The number of people who are being Beckoned to cross the Daran Gap who are Being robbed that's virtually all of Them raped which is uh a large fraction Of the women Crossing through and dying In the Gap because they were unprepared Or victims of Violence uh it's really it's an Unspeakable horror that anybody would be Encouraging people to join that Migration as your business grows the Workload can become overwhelming tasks That used to take a day now take a week If you're feeling this strain netsuite Is here to provide relief 37,000 Businesses have upgraded to netsuite by Oracle netsuite is the number one Cloud Financial system streamlining accounting Financial management inventory HR and Much more for 25 years netsuite has been Helping businesses do more with less Close their and days not weeks and drive Down costs recognizing that every Business is unique netsuite offers a Tailored solution that aligns with your Specific key performance indicators all In one efficient system with a single Source of Truth netw Suite will help you

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Now what what you would hope possibly is That we could have an intelligent Discussion about an optimized rate of Migration now you pointed out that an a Rapid influx of poverty-stricken people Into a stable Society potentially Produces a situation where those people Compete especially with the people who Are struggling hardest in the current State for relative Economic Opportunity And so that migration is typically not a A detriment to people who are in Established positions of Hierarchical um Advantage but it they're Definitely or that it you can make the Strongest case that they are genuine Competitors for people at the lower end Of the socioeconomic distribution now we Seem to be experiencing something akin To that in Canada we have the highest Migration rate in the world at the Moment if I if I have my figure figures Correct or at least in the Western World Which is where people generally want to Immigrate and one of the consequences of That apparently is an an absolute Explosion in housing prices and Obviously that's going to hurt people Who are poorest the most okay but There's there is some utility in Migration let's say and and it is also The case that the US economy depends to Some degree on the availability of Lowcost Labor all right now what you

Would hope in my estimation is that that Would be handled with some degree of Forethought and Intelligence and that wouldn't be the Kind of handling that would result in a Constitutional crisis in the US which Seems to be unfolding in a manner that's Absolutely jaw-dropping but even perhaps More directly relevant to your story is Well if we're being driven by sympathy With those who are struggling to be free And to pursue Economic Opportunity in The spirit of the Great American Dream It's still immoral to have those People enter the country first illegally And Second second at Great risk to Themselves in this halfhazard manner and Third in a manner that's absolutely in 100% of clear benefit to cartel Criminals so so what the hell Brett like And and this opens up an even wider Topic of discussion I Mean I would say from our discussions Previously that your political Views such as they are were likely to The more liberal than mine have become I Never regarded myself as a particularly Conservative person Till well until whatever's happened in The last 10 years happened and but but I Do believe that on some issues at least You're on the more Progressive side than Me now you've been battered around in

All sorts of interesting ways over the Last decade and you've seen some very Strange things transpire and it's Clearly the case that your trip to the Darian Gap was one of those experiences And So what do you make of the immigration Issue what do you make of how it's Handled and then what do you think Thinks going on and why and what has This Done in the long sequence of things that Have exposed you to the kinds of Information that might require people at Least at some level to modify their Views all right I'll try to remember all Those questions I'll try to remember Them um the first thing to say is there Is some rate of immigration That makes sense I don't really see this As an issue of carrying capacity because The number of migrants Might well that That is desirable might well vary with The the economic era but the problem Here is that a we never had the Discussion we are simultaneously Facilitating this migration the American Flag is visible on projects in this Migration in the Daran of Panama we're Facilitating it the International Community is facilitating it through Theom the international organization of Migration an entity that appears to Believe that migration is simply in and

Of itself a good thing people and that's What what's the Organization the international Organization of migration for migration Um the the idea that these uh presumably Well intended people are inviting people Into the horror of the the Darian Gap Uh is mindblowing but nonetheless if we Were to decide that some level of Migration was desirable at this moment In history you certainly wouldn't go About it this way for one thing we are In effect repeating the error that we've Seen in Europe where a huge wave of Migration arrived and nobody thought to Ask the question of the migrants if they Wanted to be European and so a large number of people Entered Europe who appeared absolutely Hostile to the values of the West and my Feeling is if you're going to bring People in then you bring people in who Want to be part of your Society it's the Obvious question and not asking it is Such a dangerous mistake to make I can't Believe we would repeat that error but We are absolutely doing it now I did not See the migration at the southern border But many others have and they report That nobody is being asked anything People are effectively asked their Their identity their name and their Birth date and nobody checks now that is Certain even if the majority of people

Arriving at our Southern border are Simply people looking for a better way Of life who are disproportionately Likely to be hardworking and uh to Behave themselves that is certainly Going to provide a mechanism for people Who are not going to behave and don't Want to be part of the us to uh arrive Unannounced there's no way that doesn't Turn into a disaster in the near term so And a disaster of what form a disaster Of what form aart from now you you Pointed to one thing which is the the The general problem of integration and That brings up a whole wealth of Potential issues like are we are we Contemplating this through the lens of Something like the classic Melting Pot Are we making the assumptions that there Is a core set of Western values and even More specifically n American values That must and should be abided by by People who come are we abandoning the Radical Multicultural project that Proclaims in the post-modern way that There is no superordinate set of values And so and then so that's more on the ma On the side of just the the the issue of Integration per se and the in and the Issue of national Unity but then there's The darker part of that too which is It's one thing to want to maintain your Own culture it's another thing to be Actively hostile to the culture that you

Are migrating to or in or invading right I mean those are very different people Even I mean at at the worst the former People are xenophobic at the worst the Latter people are armed enemies of your Society right and it's relatively or or Psychopathic adventurers who are out to Cause as much bloody Mayhem for their Own personal satisfaction in including Sadism as they can possibly manage and If you don't think there are people like That you're exactly the kind of idiot They like to pray on so okay so you you Have concerns it sounds like you have Concerns on both those fronts and and I'm I'm also curious About I mean this is this is grounds for The deepest part of this discussion Potentially what might constitute the Core values of the identity that people Who would want to come into theer to the United States and be Americans like what Is that core identity because it's Certainly the case that it doesn't look Like Americans can come to any agreement About that amongst themselves anymore And you know I'm not saying that as Someone who isn't from a country where Exactly the same problems are making Themselves manifest So okay so let's back up a little bit You you you see two problems here There's a problem of unregulated and Badly planned and economic migration and

Then there's a parallel problem of just Exactly who is using that opportunity to Do whatever it is that they're doing two Separate categories of people seems like At least a reasonable proposition or Something to be apprehensive about Subsidiary problem which is even if Migration is good and as I said Historically the allowance has been About a million people a year in the Illegal route let's say um triple that Is is a lot we haven't had a chance to Discuss that it looks like it's Increasing and Uh that brings us brings forward the Problem of integration and so you Pointed to this an organization International organization of of Migration is that is that the prop y Yeah you said it's it is apparent to you And perhaps to them that unrestricted Migration and so that would be like Economic Mobility is that's what's Driving us is a philosophy of economic Mobility and that unrestricted migration Is just a good thing in and of itself And and there are what a variety of Organizations who are pushing that Proposition forward and facilitating This movement and are they like Advertising in the countries where these People are coming from how how is this Actually how and why is this occurring And how is it

Organized all right so there's a bunch There I want to come back to the Question of uh what are American values What this has to do with political left And right but I also want to address the Question you just asked and so there's a Structure to this migration which is not Apparent to an outsider most of the Migrants are arriving in keto Ecuador it's not obvious why that should Be geographically it's not the right Place to start because Ecuador does not Border Panama it happens that Ecuador Has a policy of not requiring Visas so When people come from the Middle East And there are many migrants in this Migration coming from the Middle East Odd as that Sounds um they arrive in keto Ecuador They migrate through Colombia they enter The Darian Gap and they cross over into Panama at which point they their their Journey North is facilitated by these Organizations uh very directly there are Large buses a huge Fleet of them that is Constantly circulating and migrants are Um as I've mentioned they're almost Always robbed as they cross the dairy And it takes time for them to earn Enough money to buy a bus ticket and if They don't earn enough money to buy a Bus ticket though this is not widely Publicized they are given a ticket in Order to speed them North and then the

Strangest thing happens which is all of The country Between uh Panama and the United States Uh passed them along now Heather and I Crossed through all of those borders Except the last one between Panama and Costa Rica in 1991 every one of those Borders was tightly controlled nobody Crosses nobody gets waved Through um but now if you're going north And you're in one of these buses all of These countries seem to have agreed as That as long as you keep going they're Not going to say anything about it That's an that's an odd fact and it Suggests a kind of international Coercion in order to to to establish This route and to keep it Open um so the information about how to Make the journey is being circulated Such that people know where to fly and Where to go from there um you know this Is a modern migration although uh I met A young woman Jennifer who had just Crossed through the Darian Gap had a Horrifying story to tell uh she's Venezuelan and she was a college student And she was fleeing the collapse of Venezuela uh she in fact said that she Was headed to Costa Rica where she Intended to stop she was going to settle In Costa Rica but um in any case Um the the fact is she uh was she had All of her money taken I'm I did not ask

Her though we spoke in oblique terms I'm Quite convinced that she was uh raped um While she was in in the Gap um and she Was waiting to accumulate the money to Get a um a bus sticket North I'm hoping That she will contact me and tell me how Her her journey is is going but Nonetheless the uh yes International Organizations are creating the route and Distributing information about how to Move these people start with cell phones That they're able to get uh upto-date Information the migration involves Strange uh Partners the Chinese camps And vente apparently uh involves lots of People having money wired to them from Family back in China uh via Western Union um so anyway this is this is a This is a different this is It's a Hybrid between the most low Tech Slogging through jungle and high tech uh Contact and exchange of funds and things That allows people to these buses which Are then Spirited spirited north um but yes it's It's an Open Secret I mean most Panamanians that I talked to people in Panama City um were aware that there was Some migration uh but did not have very Good information about it so largely This is just people passing through These Societies um let's go back to the Question you asked about uh political

Orientation and what the values are and I've done a lot of thinking thinking About this long before I went to to Panama to see this and I've come to the Conclusion that we've been sold a bill Of goods and the bill of goods was Called Multiculturalism and the problem with Multiculturalism is that it sounds like Something that those of us who like to Interact with people from many different Cultures should Appreciate but it's in fact the opposite Of the thing that we the value that we Actually hold value that we actually Hold I would call Western Cosmopolitanism Cism it's the Opposite right multiculturalism is the Idea that people Should uh not join our societies but They should maintain their own Traditions uh in an isolated pocket and And that we should effectively reject The idea of becoming one people in the West it's just a reduplication of the Situation that obtains in the World At Large with no appreciation for the fact That if you bring people together and Reduplicate the situation of the World At Large with no uniting meta narrative Let's say you also bring in all of the Conflict like obviously because the the Delusion seems to be that now just

Because they're and I I think it maybe It's fueled by this this an underlying Materialism so maybe the notion is if You bring diverse people from all over The world regardless of their culture And you provide them with sufficient Economic Opportunity given that conflict Is driven fundamentally by Economic uh economic need let's say or Economic uh differences that that will Just vanish somehow magically now I'm Not saying anyone necessarily thought This through but you know my sense is This that the systems of ideas that are Motivating these Mass Occurrences they're they have their own Internal spirit and forward moving Impetus and and they can be full of Internal conflict and no one really Sorts that out but that's what it seems Seems to be it's got to be something Like well we bring everyone together Like they are where they already are but Now because they're rich it's going to Work out fine and there isn't there Isn't any unversal system of values that Needs to be proferred other than the Plenitude of Economic Opportunity and so Why do you think there's something to That right because I would say you could Make a case although it's not obvious That people who are in comparative Poverty are perhaps more likely to turn To conflict although I don't think the

Relationship is one to one what do you Think what do you think is wrong with That theory of Peace bequeathed by Economic Opportunity and and why well Let me put it in biological Terms there are two basic reasons for Any creature but especially humans to Collaborate the most primary reason is Genetic Relatedness the second reason is the Value that is created through Reciprocity and if you allow me to paint With a broad Brush what we call the West I believe is Most fundamentally about the agreement To put aside our lineages and Collaborate because there's wealth to be Produced and this notion which you know It has its roots uh in in Antiquity but I believe that this was accidentally Invented in its current form by the American founding fathers that in in Essence in order to Confederate the Colonies they built a set of rules that Didn't put anybody at particular Advantage now they did it imperfectly There's obviously some glaring defects In our founding documents and things but In general they solved this tremendous Problem and over the course of the next Couple hundred years that system was so Unbelievably productive by putting the People who were in a in the best Position to collaborate into contact and

Facilitating their putting their racial Differences aside we became a Powerhouse And so the American experiment became Contagious because once people saw how Dynamic it was and what a high price They had been paying for putting their Genetic relatedness first everybody Wanted to join it so that is to me the West and although I am a patriotic American I'm also I am a patriot of that Idea I think it is the thing that we Should rally around and what it means is That we should take on this Cosmopolitan Notion that you can partner with anybody It's really a question of whether they Have the right insight and values not a Question of what God they pray to and um That is now under attack that is under Attack from people who would fetishize Our differences and make it impossible For that kind of collaboration to happen So I do see the West as back on its Heels and in need of a a vigorous Defense which is part of why I'm doing What I'm doing I think the world is in Great danger if that idea is lost um Even for a brief period okay so let me Ask you about that and I do also want to Return to I guess we're probably Approaching It obliquely Anyways to the Transformation of your ideas about Political and economic structure but it There's an of the argument that you just Formulated that that I can't easily

Distinguish from the proposition that Mere material opportunity will bring Peace so let let me walk through your Argument and summarize it tell me if I've got any of it wrong and and then Let's delve more deeply into that Possible Paradox so the first thing you posited Is That the default social organization for Human beings is kin Rel is is kin Relation right and the word kind itself Comes from kin and so we are by Nature more likely to Extend our sense of self to those who Are genetically related to us and There's great utility in that not least On the reproductive front if you think About it across time but also it enables Us to form the tight blood-based bonds So to speak that are least likely to be Broken with the ravages of Time now there is a transformation in Viewpoint which you Associated most Particularly with the founding of the United States that's that transformed That idea into something like a more General appreciation for the Possibilities of radical altruistic Reciprocity Regardless of kin relation I wouldn't Say I wouldn't say altruistic the thing That drives Alistic reciprocally altruistic means

That we are at Advantage by Collaborating we both come that's fine That's fine I'm I'm that sorry that That's perfectly perfectly reasonable re Uh Restatement so the notion is is that There's tremendous comparative advantage To be gained as a consequence of Collaboration independent of kinship and That's partly because you can draw on a More diverse range of talents and Abilities and developing that argument Might butus suggestions that a more Diverse Multicultural population would Be useful because of diversity of Opinion if you buy that sort of thing um But but then and and then so I would I Would take issue with two of your Propositions one is that the core of That is somehow American and also although I think the Americans elaborated that very well but Also that I don't see how to distinguish That from the proposition that mere Economic success will guarantee Something approximating peace Independent of any other Overarching framework now it seems to me So so give me one more minute to Elaborate on this and then I I'd like Love to let you Respond I think there are Preconditions that have to be met for The idea that

Non-kin reciprocally altruistic Relationships can be Established I think those are Metaphysical Presumptions I think they're encoded Generally in what we what strikes us as Religious language which is a reflection Of their depth and Necessity and those among those are as Far as I can tell are those presumptions That are axiomatic to the Judeo-christian tradition I think those Are a precondition for the development Of that attitude of radical reciprocal Altruism to non-kin participants that Characterizes in its highest form the United States but I I think it's A even though that flowered madly with The establishment of the US its roots Are much much deeper than that certainly You have to give some credit to Great Britain and then to the entire Western Tradition behind that and then it seems To me to the Greek and judeo-christian Traditions from which that arose so why Stop with the US I know you don't in Some fundamental sense but also what do You make of the need for extending that Notion of culture beyond the the merely Economic and pragmatic or the Self-evidently economic and pragmatic All Right first of course uh reciprocity as As the the engine of collaboration isn't

Invented by the American Founders I mean In fact every mutualism that exists in Nature is of exactly the sort so it's Not that they invented it what they did Was they invented a set of rules that Made it the basis for a society right so They codified it more effectively in a Manner that could be implemented Politically and Economically yeah I in fact I would say They codified it well enough for it to Be a functional Prototype but that Prototype that prototype Created an Unbelievable period of dynamism when you Think of the number of inventions that Are American in origin from the airplane To the computer to Plastics it it's mindboggling how many Things Americans accomplished in a short Period of time and my contention is if We had a society in which you were Fundamentally predisposed to collaborate With those who came from the same place You did most of that wouldn't have Happened right that this happens only When you're liberated to collaborate With anyone because they're the right Partner so that idea has a tremendous Amount of power in it I also believe That it becomes the nature of a Functional stable globe that does not Rip itself apart in Conflict now I take

Your challenge how do we know that Simply Distributing um The the spread of of economic well-being Won't cause peace to break out and the Reason in China it doesn't really anywhere absent This agreement what you want if in the End you start realizing that you are Closely related to this set of people People and at the moment you know Whatever group you have is in a position To get the jump on some other group Who's less closely related to you then That game the game of lineage versus Lineage competition and violence which Has characterized virtually all of History until the last couple hundred Years that game is constant this is the Only alternative we have to it and the Hope is that it is the best I I I'm I'm Not interested as I know you are not in A world where well-being is perfectly Evenly distributed I don't want it Perfectly evenly distributed because It's impossible in any case but yes even If it were possible a world in which Everything is evenly distributed is a World that is punishing people who Contribute more and rewarding people who Contribute less MH what I it also Forestalls any possibility of trade Because if there are no differences Between you and then of economic Significance across the multiple

Dimensions of potential economic Comparison there's no motivation Whatsoever for us to collaborate right Because we can't rise out of our radical Equality anyways plus everything we have Is exactly the same so it means it just Makes a mockery of the notion of well Progress and and trade and that means That we're now unable to capitalize on Our differences so that is the Antithesis of this diversity that's Being put forward as a pan see this is Why communism is so closely associated With scarcity is it demotivates exactly The thing that makes a society function So I don't want that but and if you if We'll get back to the question of why I Still see myself as a liberal I do want To see something as evenly distributed As possible and that is Opportunity right the market works best When somebody who has the potential to Contribute something wonderful is not Side line cleaning someone else's toilet Right so to the extent that everybody Has access to the market and that they Are rewarded when they bring something To humanity that makes us better off you Get a system in which wealth is not Perfectly evenly distributed in fact Maybe you would expect a kind of Paro Principal distribution but that nobody Is frozen out right if you if you're Down in the the low quadrant according

To the Paro principle but you have the Ability To find your way out by contributing Something good then your motivation to Do it is maximal and so so anyway that To me is what a hard-headed liberal Would see as desirable so if I Understand you correctly you see the Limit case to multiculturalism as Something like the fundamental Antagonism between a kin-based ethical System and a more abstracted system System based on the notion of abstracted Reciprocal altruism it's something like That so what you're basically saying is That those two Orientations cannot exist coexist Peacefully they are in essence Antithetical to one another and so then That begs the question the next question Then would be something like are there Cultures that are more tilted in their Ideological proclivities towards the kin Based alleges system and others that are More tilted like the European countries Towards a more abstract formulation of What Constitutes productive and generous Reciprocal altruism look you know here's A thought Brett so with these large language Models we now have the opportunity to Map out semantic space so let me give You an example of this one of my

Employees a former student has mapped Out the semantic network of the concept Of God now the way he did that was to Find the smallest possible set of words That can be substituted in discourse for The idea of God it's a substitutability issue okay So imagine this That there are 10 words or concepts that Are most likely to exist in the same Cloud of conceptual space as the idea of God you could dispense with that central Idea and just use that conation of 10 Subsidiary ideas as a Replacement then you can imagine each of Those ideas has a cloud of associated Ideas around It right and this is literally encoded In semantic space it's a statistical Relationship now you could imagine that There's a semantic Web around the conceptualizations of Kin-based ethical Systems and there's a and a center as Well my brother before anyone else that Might be the concept at the center Something like that right but that could Be mapped then you could imagine that This other cloud of Concepts that is Associated with abstract reciprocal Altruism and its formulation also has a Center what that should mean if you did The same mapping for for cultures is That you should be able to place

Cultures on a Continuum from kin based Orientation to this more abstract Formulation that freeze up economic Resources right and then the hypothesis You would derive from that is that the Most difficult problems of integration Would Arise as a consequence of trying to Integrate the most kin-based Systems and you could further Hypothesize that it might even be worse Than that it might be that the most Difficult people to integrate would be The psychopath who take advantage for Themselves of the ethos of the kin-based System right because we always have the Psychopath problem right and and people Don't like that problem but like it's a World destroying problem so okay so what Do you think of that idea generally Speaking let's put the psychopath part Of it aside for the moment in the in the End decisive but let's just take your Basic premise I fully agree with this And I think we also see it um as a Progression In uh you know these Divine texts right We can read very clearly that the story Of the Good Samaritan is a story about increasing The size of the circle of Collaboration and I would argue that There's an Overarching

Trajectory that as Society become larger That the mythology that fuels them Encompasses this idea and so you keep Getting what it's probably yeah go ahead Well you know Sam Harris with whom I Know you've had your differences one of Sam's Motivations was to ground an ethos in The Objective that could serve as a Irrefutable counterposition to the Problem of evil And he thought that could only be done Empirically right and that's partly why He is loath to consider any such Superstitious representation as might be Encoded in religion but I've been Thinking along lines parallel to you and It seems to me that he's looking in the Wrong objective Space so because the hypothesis that You're putting forward you correct me if I've got this wrong is that there's a Pattern might even be partially mapped Already by tit fortat competitions but There's a pattern Of complex social interaction that Iterates best across time in an uphill Direction that Viewed over a sufficiently long period Of time can be seen to have a stable and Emergent structure that would be its Intrinsic ethos and that's the intrinsic Ethos that's captured let's say most

Effectively in relationship to political And economic organization by the Founding documents of the US but it's Real it's real it's real like Your relationship with me and my Relationship with you is dependent on Our willingness to tell each other the Truth to aim at a mutually desirable Goal and to continue doing that doing That across time that's a pattern it's Real it's objectively real now I'm Finishing up a book at the moment called We who wrestle with God and it's an Elaborated analysis of the proclivity of Foundational narratives to encode that Pattern of radical reciprocity and to Expand its purview and its depth of Representation across Time and that looks to me like a place Where the findings of evolutionary Psychology and biology can be seen to Dove t with the claims of the Metaphysical stories upon which our Culture is based now well I'll let let You comment on that because I'm Obviously you can see the parallel Between the way that we're approaching This problem so I haven't concentrated As much in my thinking on the difference Between the kin based Allegiance systems And the more abstract systems although I Can see That that seems like a CL that seems Like a clear part of the story right of

The of the story of the progression Towards a more productive Universalism so how is this okay so so First of all why do you comment on that And then I want to know what these Realizations have done to the way that You've been thinking and then maybe We'll return to the immigration issue Sure well the first thing to say is you Know I come from a a weird discipline And I've Departed from its mainstream in order to Be able to be productive in thinking About humans because although humans are An evolved creature like every other They're a very special creature in the Way they actually Function but I could tell the story that You just told in what I believe Are uh rigorous evolutionary Terms and it it would have certain Advantages to be able to see certain Subtleties but it would be pretty close To useless from the point of view of Operationalizing it as the basis of a Society far better if you are going to Operationalize something for society to Encode it in a narrative that is Memorable and transmissible and Resistant to being to being Corrupted motivating motivating and Stabilizing um comprehensible by Everyone regardless of level of abstract Intellectual PR

100% so you know there's a moment uh During the debate you had with Sam the Two night debate you had with Sam in Vancouver which I had the the privilege And honor of moderating um where Sam Confronted you and asked if you really Believed that uh Jesus had been Resurrected yeah and I remember this Moment like it was yesterday you thought Uh you must have thought for a few Seconds and you said I behave as if I Do and I heard that and I thought that Is the slam dunk answer to this Question Sam didn't get it right in fact He doesn't get it to this day but what You said is the way an evolutionist Would think about this because Culture is a means to an end what is That end it is to get your genes Unfortunately lodged as far into the Future as you can possibly arrange from Your current position and to keep them There to you want to hand the ball off As far into the future as you can and You want to hand off the motivation for Those who receive that ball in the Future to do it again right and Eventually that will fail quick Intervention there because we should Turn to this because it's equally Salient it's a point equally Salient to The one that you just described in my Discussion with Sam that's what the Story of Abraham represents because what

God promises Abraham is that if he maintains a Certain pattern of orientation and Conduct that not only will he have a son Which was an impossibility for him and His wife but that he will literally be The father of Nations and so what that Story is Encoding is a pattern of sacrificial Attitude that most optimally ensures the Preservation of genetic material across The broadest range of possible Situations as indefinitely into the Future as Can Be Imagined and that's What it means mythologically to act in The light of Eternity right it's that You're not and and this is also I think Where where people like Dawkins go Seriously wrong and The evolutionary Biologists in general people like Sigman Freud even is that reproduction is not Sex sex is a fragment of reproduction Like SE reproduction is is sex for Mosquitoes reproduction is sex sex for Psychopaths but it's not reproduction Sex is not reproduction for people who Are engaged in this higher order process Of maximally inclusive reciprocal Altruism okay so so anyway it took me a Long time to understand this about the Story of Abraham in particular right is That now I got to I got to add one more Thing to that because I think this is Equally revolutionary so Abraham's

Behavior is characterized by a Particular sacrificial attitude and That's famously obviously and that That's a form of work sacrifice is a Form of work you're sacrificing the the Hedonic Delights of the present and Perhaps even your orientation towards Immediate power for something Approximating a long-term gain and maybe A joint psychological and communal Long-term gain that's sacrifice now Human Sacrifice we work and once we know That and that's established in the story Of Cain and Abel by the way it's like it Starts with Adam and Eve because they're They're doomed to work after the fall Cain and abble establish two patterns of Sacrificial Behavior Abraham is a Manifestation of one of those patterns Of sacrifice the idea of the sacrifice Of that which you love best to Facilitate further adaptation is Developed extensively in the story of Abraham with this story of the potential Necessity of the sacrifice of Isaiah and That's played out in its full Manifestation in the gospel stories and The the the culmination of this and I Can't see how it can be any other way Frankly is that the most appropriate Form of sacrifice that guarantees the Best possible outcome All Things Considered is the full and radical Voluntary sacrifice of the self in

Relationship to the highest possible Good and I think that's what's encoded In the Christian narrative that's what It looks like to me it's a limit story Right of of sorts because it it Investigates the nooks and cranny Of all the dimensions of potential Self-sacrifice in in service of the Highest and integrates them and so Anyways that's partly what this new book Is about but that's where my thought has Gone Further with regard to the point that You Made about what happened in Vancouver I Knew then what you just said which was That I answered that because I knew that That was the biologically appropriate Answer right that's where the rubber Hits the road Man that's yeah that's what that's what This whole experiment is and all of the Architecture all of the language we have And the structures the belief structures That we carry and the stories that we Transmit them with that architecture is About something that we can't see and Didn't even have a hint existed until a Couple hundred years ago so um that's a That's a tough pill to swallow and as You point out most people don't have the Background to see yeah but um I would Also point out though that if you Compare the difference between what you

Said I behave as if I do it wouldn't Matter if you spoke as if you did as Long as you behaved as if you did and it Wouldn't matter somebody who speaks as If they believe it but doesn't behave That way is the inverse the point is This is all about modifying Behavior Which Brings I would say too to Brett also Attention you know it's become Increasingly clear in the last decade That the notion of perception Independent of action is is a falsehood Right because your eyes are moving in Accordance with what you value so that You can pick up the relevant sense data All the time and so the your the Orientation of ethos in action extends To perception itself to the to the way The world makes itself manifest to you As a consequence of the choice that you Make with every glance about how you're Going to interact with it that also Demolishes it demolishes the Empirical the enlightenment empirical Story it's done because the empirical Story was predicated on the assumption That there was a value-free perception And the postmodernists critique that and They were they were they were right now I would actually Chen you on this Because although at one level um you're Correct there's no way to free yourself From perceptual bias entirely I would

Argue that science properly practiced That is to say practiced carefully According to the underlying philosophy Not just the Motions but the actual Philosophy of science that makes it work Is at the end of the day it is a uh slow Tool that has one major advantage which Is that it is capable of telling you That which you don't expect and don't Want to hear right it tells you things That are you are not predisposed to see But it has to be wielded uh in the Proper manner the fact that it takes Place in a laboratory isn't good enough Um the fact that it's reported in a Scientific paper doesn't do it you have To do the method correctly and then it Can tell you what what you wouldn't have Happened on through the process you're Describing yes I but I would say yes but And I think it's yes but for the reason You already outlined at least in part in Your discussion of the relationship Between kin orientation and this more Abstract orientation so I would say that What science allows you to do is to Circumvent transcend your own your own Particularized Biases but it can't happen at all in the Absence of an orientation that's Encapsulated within this reciprocally Altruistic broader abstract ethos so Because for example imagine you're a Cancer

Researcher so you're accepting an ethos Axiomatically before you analyze the Data and the ethos is something like it Would be better if there was less Suffering it would be better if there Were fewer cancer victims it would be Better if we knew more about disease in General and the results of my truthful Investig a will be of benefit to people Regardless of their relatedness to Me and all of those are intellectual Pre-commitments that have to occur Before you can even face the data in Your spreadsheets properly if you're Ethos is I'm going to extract from this Spreadsheet the patterns in this Spreadsheet the story that will Maximally benefit me and my family Economically in the short term then you Instantly become a careerist scientist And you pollute the entire Enterprise And so I would say that that science Only works if it's embedded in the ethos Towards which we're developing I think I Mean i' I've tried to break that Argument into bits and and but I can't I I I can't move that argument no you're You're entirely right and as much as my Argument earlier about the value of Opportunity being as broadly distributed As possible runs counter to this One advantage of the glory period of Science where it was done by gentlemen Scientists was that they did not have

The perverse careerist incentives they Served their interest by being right in The long run that's how they became Immortal and that is a good a good Motivator and what we have now has taken Something that looks exactly like Science and turned it on its head it's Just it's obscene and you know I think Co taught us this lesson in in Spades we Saw for the first time the um the level At which this is just uh it is a Distilled form of corruption that is so Pernicious that it can you know it can Actually take a poison and label it as a Cure and it can take the Cure and label It as a poison and it doesn't even blink So that's what happens if the other Incentives are allowed to pervade the System And we have to rescue ourselves from it Because that's that's where we are Across the bo as far as we should well We should note too historically speaking That the scientists of the type that you Described so the genuine scientists were Very much akin to monks in a monastery And I mean their universities were Monasteries to begin with and they were Saturated whether they knew that or not By that ethos now they had a hard time Distinguishing between the descriptions They generated as a consequence of their Objectifying process and the narratives That structured the ethos within which

They operated right they they they Confused the motivating dream with the Material objective facts and this is Still what people like Dawkins and Harris are doing they don't understand That there's a difference between the Structure of the maps of meaning that Organize our Perceptions structure our attention and Our actions and the facts that present Us themselves to us as a consequences of This process of objective comparison That emerges as a consequence of the Scientific Process well you know in both of their Cases and I don't mean to take them to Tasks specifically but they've they've Sort of volunteered for that job Um the most glaring example of the Blindness that this creates is their Failure to Recognize that religious belief is every Bit as deserving of an EV evolutionary Explanation as a wing or an eye or a Pigment any of these structures and so To dismiss religious belief as a Pathology is so um it is shering the Most fundamental responsibility that a Scientifically minded person has to look At a pattern and say I can tell that That means something but I don't yet Know what it is right I'm not going to Dismiss it just because I don't get it Yet right absolute Absol that's exactly

Right is that they're not I agree with You completely is that they're not I Looked at the religious landscape like a Biologist it's like what the hell is Going on here right what is happening Here it it it's it's no more rational Than what would you say the morphology Of a Platypus right it's it's strange and Paradoxical and dreamlike and peculiar Like most manifestations of nature okay Here I've got another proposition for You tell me what you think about this Because I've been trying to define the Religious okay so imagine this that we Let's take a let's think about that Semantic network of meaning again now That some of the concepts that you have Are more dependent on some Concepts than On other Concepts so now imagine your conceptions Aren't just a they're not just an Aggregation of words and they're not Just a network of words they're a Hierarchy of Concepts and here's how you Define a Hierarchy some things that you believe Are more dependent on other things than On a set of different things so here Here's an example one of the fundamental Predicates of a marriage is Fidelity and so what that means is that When the presumption of f Fidelity is Violated the marriage shakes and

Trembles it isn't generally the case That whether or not your wife washes the Dishes as quickly as you might like is a Fundamental predicate of your marriage Because not very much depends on that so There's a network of dependen And I think we track that emotionally by The way Brett I think we track that Emotionally such that our emotions know Where in the hierarchy of dependency a Given concept sits and if that's Threatened it produces both more Excitement in the exploratory sense and More apprehension because entropy is Released and the best models of anxiety Now are entropy release models by the Way so there's a hierarchy of dependency Okay that's the depths when we say that An idea is deep what we mean is that a Very large number of other propositions Depend for their validity on the Validity of that idea now there's a Hierarchy and there's something at the Bottom or at the Apex you can use either Metaphorical structure and we've been Inferring for centuries what that core Foundation or Apex piece might be right And so What is religious is what is most deep That's a definition it's a definition And what is deep is that Which what much upon which much Relies right and so the so the first Thing I'd like and you know you can see

The same thing in science we know that There are fundamental theorems in Science upon which whole disciplines Rest there's no difference we know that There are contributors to the scientific Enterprise who are very vastly cited and We presume that their ideas are deep not Least because the consequence of that Mass citation is the embeddedness of Those ideas in almost every other idea Of the Discipline so okay so the first question Would be what do you think of that idea Of depth like technically speaking and Then imagine that the emotions that are Elicited when things move in the depths Are the array of emotions that have been Exper associated with religious Phenomenology since time Immemorial well uh that's quite Interesting I'm Recognizing uh you know I'm I'm sort of The odd man out in a lot of the circles That I travel in these days I'm Shock but I uh you know I spend a lot of Time with conservatives uh there are a Lot more uh religious people in my life Than I would have expected maybe they Outnumber the secularists considerably At this point but I've been thinking About why that might be and what I'm Realizing is That there Is let's say among the covid dissidents

There are quite a number of religious People who stood up at Great personal Cost and said what needed to be said in Order to uh to to break the Spell and I think the reason for that is Because if you have a religious Structuring to what you're I've Forgotten what term you use but I would Say that we have this hierarchy you call It a hierarchy I would say it's a it's a Model which we take in we build it based On what works what doesn't work we build Up a model over a lifetime and we're Very reluctant to pull a piece out on Which much depends because then suddenly Our model doesn't work right so people Who have a religious model of the Universe where they actually believe They're not just going through the Motions um have a motivational structure That upends the game theory that causes So many people to falter right if you Believe that you are um being watched And perhaps Guided by an Intelligence that um if you do the right Thing then whatever pain your enemies May inflict upon you will be dwarfed by Uh the reward that you will get Eternal Reward mhm the Eternal reward exactly Then the point is you're in a lot better Position to stare down tyrants and Bullies than somebody who is trapped in Their somatic experience of the moment AB absolutely or their desire for power

For that matter right so there are lots Of traps that people who have a deep Relationship with this sort of thinking Can avoid but the number of let's put it This way every religious scientist has An utterly idiosyncratic way of holding Those beliefs in the mind so that they Don't trip over the parts that conflict With what they know from the Laboratory right so it's a very odd Landscape and um mostly you know there's Something about it that actually reminds Me of the way Jews often hold religious Belief which is its purpose isn't really To be pushed on all that much that Nobody the you know a congregation holds Their belief structure at a great range Of distances from themselves some people Absolutely believe this is the you know The literal word of God and other people Have a very remote relationship with it But it's not a zero relationship it's Just one in which it doesn't impinge Directly on uh you know their analytical Thinking so that freedom to hold that Relationship in a uniquely generated Fashion that doesn't conflict with the Rest of the model one uses to to deal With the universe is I think necessary And it again speaks to a strength of the West right that we are not about Separation of church and state allows That to some degree right because what You're what you're pointing to to some

Degree is the Optimization of stability and play right And some people are going to VI for more Stability and less play probably in a Ordance with their temperament and Perhaps their intellectual capabilities And others are going to as a consequence Of that distancing let's say allow for a Wider range of Experimentation within what is still a a Walled enclosure right at some at some Distance the territory that they're Allowed to range through is is is Broader now the price they might pay for That is a little more entropy in the System right a little more existential Anxiety but the advantage would be that They can experiment I got something cool To tell you biologically you tell me What you think about This this was only discovered in November of 2022 so you know That for all intents and purposes that This the molecular alterations that Facilitate mutation are random and There's real good reasons for that Randomness partly because to the degree That mutations are caused by radiation The Striking point of the radiation Is random however there is a hierarchy Of Repairability so the more yes there is Yes exact this is a deadly finding so

What that means is and and I I haven't Been able to reconcile this entirely With my understanding of evolutionary Biology but that means there's a core Set of principles by which the system Operates and then Out On The Fringe There's allowable room for variation and Experimentation right and I think that That's the pattern of all conceptual Structures there's a core set of Foundational principles and those are Religious principles and I don't care if You're religious or not is that they Serve the function of the deepest Mechanisms of orientation so I don't Care what you call that doesn't matter Because they're there and then Experimentation can take place on The Fringe now temperamentally some people Would be inclined to experiment at Deeper levels right and that would be The difference between someone who's Less or more fundamentalist in their Orientation so and so what do you what Do you think of that as an analogy on The biological side well I've been Playing with that analogy from the Biological side and I have uh a Framework built up so I I refer to these Two polls as the sacred and the Shamanistic and the idea is that even Within a religious tradition right there Is the sacred which are the things that One is most most loathe to upend because

They are most fundamental and then There's the shamanistic where you know Depending on the tradition the monks may Be experimenting with uh I don't know Genic substances right and the point is We don't we don't ask them too much what They're doing and if they find something Important they report it out in a way That we can disavow it if need be the Point is both of these processes are There for a reason and the fact is yeah We see exactly this in the genome and it Even extends beyond what you've Suggested it's not just repairability Issue okay so we have um the ability uh For example let's take Immunity the way immunity develops when You encounter a disease is something Called clonal selection in which a Subset of your cells Literally evolves on the scale of hours To days in order to defeat that pathogen Right so this is a a a part of the um of The body that has become genetically Experimental because it is necessary to Do so in order to fight an enemy that Your body has never seen so anyway yes Sacred to the shamanistic that exists in The genome it exists in religious Traditions and we are messing this up we Are not realizing that much of that Basically culture is a means to an end That genes have produced a mind that is Fundamentally cultural because it can

Evolve more rapidly genetically right But the problem with that is that much Of the stuff that is generated in the Moment is noise Right you can look at long-standing Genes and say I know they must have Served the interests of the lineage that That carried them because they stood the Test of time right they have a cost and Yet they stood the test of time but Culture you don't know that something is Useful until it's lasted for at least Hundreds of years which means that most Of the new stuff that we see is probably Bad for us and we don't have enough Skepticism of it yeah well that's Actually why I think there's variability And trait Openness it's like some of the new stuff Is absolutely Vital more of it is deadly and most of It is noise now if you're high in Openness it's a highrisk high return Strategy you're very very likely to fail Which is generally the fate of most Wouldbe entrepreneurs unless they repeat The experiment multiple times if you do Succeed you can succeed unbelievably Radically right and then you might say Well to hell with openness so that would Be no shamanic tradition let's say but The problem with that is then there's no Variability or experimentation and that Doesn't work either because the future

Is actually different from the past Right so there has to be experimentation Because otherwise you can't keep up so This is also so this as far as I can Tell Brett this seems to be a place Where the evolutionary biology and these New models of theological thinking can Dovetail perfectly we can say something Like well the relationship between ideas Is akin to the relationship Between the relationship that obtains That governs mutation it's the same Thing it's logically enough because idea Proliferation is the analog to mutation So why wouldn't it be the same thing and It implies that on both those levels There's a core set of Axiomatic principles that you violate Very rarely and at your extreme danger This is by the way that this is the Reason that Aza dies when he touches the Ark of the Covenant right so the Israelites are Pack in the Ark of the Covenant across The desert and they trip a little bit And this Soldier reaches out to steady The ark and God strikes him dead and David is unhappy about that believing it To be unjust but the moral of the story Is there are certain things that you Touch at your peril regardless of the Potential benevolence of your Motivations That's fascinating so I have one thing

Uh this is probably not going to make a Tremendous amount of sense yet we'll Have to unpack it another time because It's a a deep discussion but um it's not Really that the that culture is like the Genome it does have a superficial Resemblance in the way it evolves but The way to see it most clearly is that Culture is one of several epigenetic Mechanism M and as much as it is strange To think of it this way all the Epigenetic Mechanisms seem to abide by the same set Of rules and the rule I'll just distill It for you we call it the Omega Heather And I call it the Omega Principle the idea is that epigenetic Phenomena are more powerful than genes Because they are more rapidly adapting But they are subservient to the genes Uh motivation in other words they have To serve genetic ends at least Historically now I do wonder and one of The things I worry about in the Revival Of um religious belief that we are Watching the thing I'm concerned about Is that actually we are at a unique Moment in history where we have to turn The tables on the genes the genes are Utterly immoral They've produced a mental structure Which is capable of morality but they've Done that as a means to an end and my Feeling is that what is best about

Humans what distinguishes us from all of The other Creatures is not our morphology it's What we are cognitively capable of it's The goodness it's the Insight The Compassion those are the things which Should be in the driver's seat but They're not and you and I have talked Before about the danger of tragedies of History reoccurring that these are Spasms that tap into uh predispositions Inside the human character that people Don't expect because they grow up during Times when they're not visible and then Suddenly um they they emerge and I'm not There's no way that it can be safe to Experiment with such a fundamental Change but I'm concerned that if we Don't f figure out how to put our better Angels in Charge that we are going to be condemned To that same pattern reoccurring with Ever more ferocious Weaponry yeah yeah That's yeah yep yep yep well that's that Is the that is the issue of the moment Not not only Weaponry not only me that ter I mean That term generally technology exact Exactly well this is see one of the Things that really maybe we can close With this because we're at the right Time to do that um one of the things That Carl Yung pointed out at the end of The second World War I think actually it

Was when the hydrogen bomb was developed To tell you the Truth and this is what he was pointing To in his work on Alchemy by the way Which is why he delved into Alchemy he Was trying to understand the substrate Of intrinsic value that even guides the Scientific Endeavor so that's what he Was up to now the reason he was doing That was because believed that we had Rapidly expanded our technological Capacity since the dawn of the Scientific Revolution but had failed to Do the same with our understanding of Our underlying ethos and so now we were As primitive ethically as we were in 1450 with the tools of the 21st century And that there is no if you're going to Have big toys you better be a wise Player and we're at that moment and my Sense is that and I I would say the Positive consequence of this Hypothetical Revival that you're Describing would be that I think we can Actually become conscious of these Things explicitly in a way that wasn't Possible before I think that's right at Hand before us I think that that's What's making itself manifest to people Like Ian hery Ali and like Neil Ferguson And like Douglas Murray and like you and We can see and and Jonathan Paso we can See a shift a tectonic shift at the Level of

Conceptualization it might even be that The entire culture war is a Manifestation of that emerging shift Right because we're at War to some Degree with the idea that there isn't Anything other than Hedonism and Power right and That's that's the radical proposition The certainly the postmodernist Proposition was that especially Emanating from people like Fuko and Dara Was that there was especially Fuko there Wasn't anything other than power and Power is always utilized in the service Of a short-term Hedonism because why the Hell else would you bother with the Power so so let if maybe let me uh try To summarize those things because I I Think we've arrived somewhere very we Start even with the Daran Gap oh that's going to be an interesting Trick let's see if I can I can find a Way y um but what you're pointing to Um we are somewhere new in history Because of the power of our technology Which takes off the table the Traditional way that terrible problems Like this have been solved by Evolution Evolution was a process in which people Whose belief structures or orientation Or models were dangerously off could go Extinct leaving behind those whose Models weren't so broken we can't do That now that tool as terrible as it was

At least worked what we have now is a System where we are all tied together Such that Um the bad folks may get what they Deserve but we're also going to get what They deserve and the tool for thinking Your way out of such a puzzle without Actually having to go through Extinctions of various populations is Consciousness Consciousness evolved I Would argue for this exact purpose for Addressing novelty and being able to see To follow through what will happen if I Behave in a certain way so that you Don't have to suffer that Consequence sacrifice your Stupidity right and I guess this does Bring us back to the question of the Darian Gap because what we see going on In Panama really looks like um an an old Model that is now taking on tremendous New new power and putting us in global Jeopardy by deciding to move people and Resources to dispense with the consent Of the governed and that is going to end Very badly so the message to us is that The Peril we detect in places like Darion it's telling us something which Is that we need to to rise to a kind of Collective Consciousness we need to Realize ize that what is binding us Together is not genetic relatedness it Is common purpose that we all if we

Think clearly should want to bequeath to Our descendants a a Marvelous World and Instead we are going to give them a World that is greatly diminished even to The one that we were given so I think it Is that moment and I think so too we Better get God help us Absolutely all right right sir well Everybody for everybody watching and Listening I'm going to delve further Into these ideas with Brett in the half An hour that we'll spend together on the Dailywire plus side of the platform so If you're inclined to join us there then Please feel more than welcome to do so Um Can can I add something for those who Are interested in a deeper look into the Questions raised by what's going on in Panama um if they go to the Darkhorse Darkhorse is one word the Darkhorse Locals Community um there's a discussion Between myself and Chris Martinson there In which we explore the stuff in great Depth all right excellent so everybody's Uh enjoined to go do precisely that Right yes and to also take up Brett's Challenge to view these political events And economic events these practical On The Ground events in light of the Broader reality of the culture war that Is tearing us to Pieces so all right so Well thank you very much Brett um and to Everybody watching and listening thank You very much for your time and

Attention and uh on to the next Challenge thanks Jordan love you [Music] Brother

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