27: Daniel Schmachtenberger - On Avoiding Apocalypses

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In this second episode of the Portal to be released during shelter-in-place restrictions during the Corona Virus Pandemic, we release an older discussion with Daniel Schmachtenberger on whether there is any plausible long term scenario for human flourishing confined to a single shared planet.

Daniel is seen as a leader of the growing Game B subculture of the human potential movement. This group bets that there is a second evolutionary stable strategy for cohabiting not based on conflict or rivalry, even for life raised in Game A (i.e. standard evolutionary and economic environments based on scarcity and rivalrous goods. Eric asks Daniel about where the bright spots and progress might be in this movement which refuses to accept the fate that that Eric has elsewhere put forward as the Twin Nuclei Problem of having unlocked the power of both Cell and Atom in the early 1950s without the wisdom to use it.

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Table of contents

00:00:20 - Covid and DISC
00:14:00 - Daniel Schmachtenberger
00:18:27 - System validity gain vs. loss as a distributed local criteria for response.
00:23:50 - Source code of psychology
00:35:20 - Exponential tech (CRISPR, Mores Law, Genetic engineering )
00:38:10 - Solving problems with violence
00:41:00 - Inverse correlation between rational and emotional function
00:45:00 - Motivation for misinformation
00:46:50 - Russel conjugation (limbic stimulation)
00:56:15 - Short term behavior
00:58:00 - Solving for multipolar traps
01:15:10 - Magical thinking, the false safety experience and group think
01:17:11 - The importance of life experience
01:19:06 - The EU is a trap
01:21:16 - Sharp minds vs. sharp elbows
01:22:35 - The loss of the generator function and corruption
01:24:12 - The danger of knowledge
01:26:40 - The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as training wheels for the cultural elite.
01:30:30 - The urge towards penetration
01:34:07 - How sound thinking is derailed: Profits vs. gating
01:37:42 - An economy of shame and terror
01:40:39 - The Looting Party origins of FUD (fear, uncertainty and distortion)
01:46:40 - No living heroes
01:49:33 - A little bit of gas
01:50:10 - Penetration options: Scaling beyond the Dunbar size
01:56:52 - The End of Capitalism
02:00:22 - Tech as a gamechanger in evolution
02:02:55 - Abstraction as crucial for evolution in hoomans
02:04:00 - Reputation tech for scaling
02:05:30 - Selection pressures as an eualizer between species
02:08:45 - Abstraction and toolmaking breaks the even distribution
02:16:00 - Hoomans maximally k-selected
02:10:00 - Orange man bad
02:13:00 - Solutions: Abstract pattern replicators (software updates)
02:14:48 - Neoteny [retarding maturation] and nurture capacity in hoomans
02:16:00 - Hoomans maximally k-selected
02:17:00 - Buddhism and the lack of violence
02:18:40 - Planned parenthood as an alternatives to violence?
02:21:00 - Population decline and steady state population and green energy
02:22:00 - Embracing population decline and selection for non-agressive traits
02:23:50 - Can women be lured away from the call of motherhood?
02:24:30 - Education of women makes children an opportunity cost
02:25:00 - Renewable hoomans and steady state ressources
02:26:00 - An economy of abundance makes it hard to get paid for your labor
02:27:40 - Alternatives to markets
02:28:00 - Back to Buddhism without getting killed
02:29:30 - Hacking ourselves a transition
02:30:30 - Sex and rivalry and weirdness
02:32:00 - Abstract emphathy + coordination closing the loop
02:33:40 - Private balance sheets
02:34:40 - Ownership, access, mutual exclusion
02:35:20 - Sharing is caring - commons
02:36:30 - Anti-rivalry
02:37:30 - Prostitution, commitment and status
02:40:00 - Relationships as a replacement for status
02:42:00 - Power vs. wisdom
02:43:30 - Religion + education = Cognitive ability and social harmony
02:44:00 - Eric not trying to be negative
02:44:30 - That's just crazy-talk, but....
02:46:10 - Scaling collective consciousness
02:48:00 - Motivating social engineering
02:50:10 - Bribing away military conflict
02:50:30 - Summarizing for test and avoiding group selection as subject
02:54:30 - Reservations and questions: Violence and ownership
02:55:50 - Abundance and maturity
02:58:00 - Development hacking towards maturity?
02:59:00 - Sex is sexy
03:02:00 - Sexual selection
03:05:00 - Blind evolution: Short term benefits - long term problems
03:06:00 - Status and feeling uncomfy
03:08:00 - Diminishing returns on enhanced status
03:11:00 - Hypernormal stimuli in modern social networks
03:14:20 - Eric on being famous
03:17:40 - Pleasure and the deathbed mindset
03:20:00 - Spiritual growth as an alternative to social life
03:22:50 - Tradeoffs in social connection
03:24:00 - Money vs. ideas
03:25:00 - Empathy as psychological health
03:26:00 - When friends fail
03:28:00 - Escaping the prisoners dilemma


New York mayor tweet
gated institutional narrative
Embedded Growth Obligation


negative externalities
von Neuman-Morgenstern
[sub-utility functions]
principal agent problems
moral hazard


Mechanical Ventilation in an Airborne Epidemic
Preparing intensive care for the next pandemic influenza
stockpiling ventilators for influenza, pandemics
estimates of the demand for mechanical ventilation in the United States during an influenza pandemic

Triage is the process of determining the priority of patients' treatments based on the severity of their condition or likelihood of recovery with and without treatment.

Daniel Schmachtenberger website
The Twin Nuclei Problem
Game B

A gene drive is a genetic engineering technology that propagates a particular suite of genes throughout a population by altering the probability that a specific allele will be transmitted to offspring from the natural 50% probability.
Kalynivka ammunition depot explosion
James Damore
The Personal Responsibility Votex
Tristan Harris, founder of time well spent and the center for humane technology
Charles Lindbergh
Dunbar's number/limit
Peter Kropotkin
Lotka–Volterra equations
Sex at Dawn