EF36 Show Notes

(EF36) AMA-EF12: Pyrrhic Victory and Finding the 10% of Your Mind that Defines Who You Are Ask Me Anything for Episode EF12


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Episode EF36 Summary

Spoiler alert: You’re about to listen to an Ask Me Anything (AMA) of Episode EF12, which was Season 1, Episode 10 of the Evolve Faster Podcast titled Wired to Fail: Leveling Up in the Game of Life.  The driving question of this episode (and this AMA) for you to think through is … What defines us? It’s a fascinating question that actually has surprisingly little research or philosophical investigation.

As a reminder about Episode EF12: Infuriated by the risk-averse approach of his company, Vihaan Raid decides to design his latest game on his own. A widely renowned game developer known to the gaming world as “Koji,” believes he can entirely change how humans see life with his radical new video game concept. He teams up with a respected psychologist to make sure his vision will manipulate the human psyche as he suspects it will—a critical factor to the game’s potential. As Koji slowly reveals secretive details of his mysterious concept, Isaac becomes more and more suspicious of the game’s true intentions.

The tenth episode of the first season of the Evolve Faster Podcast Episode is driven by the big question What defines us? We define ourselves as human beings, creations of nature. But as we’re tapping in technology more and more, will the definition of what is human need an update?

To peek behind the curtain of Episode EF12, we’ll dissect the following submitted questions:

  • Why does failure build up the thrill of success?
  • Is this chip implant thing possible? Can humans merging with technology help to define ourselves?
  • Do you have a plan to transfer your content to different media?
  • When I do the thought experiment, I can’t figure out what my 10% is… what does that mean about me?
  • Are there categories/tips that can help me define myself?
  • How did Koji help ppl if there was no coin?
  • What is the history of Pyrrhic victory?
  • And more…


DEDICATION:  Episode EF12 is dedicated to Hideo Kojima. A revolutionary game designer who’s continually changing the gaming industry and bringing video games to new, unmapped territories.

Kojima is the creator of some of the most successful video games in history. Starting his career back when the gaming industry was relatively new, his peers discouraged him for straying into unknown waters. After stacking up multiple failures in the late ’80s, finally Kojima’s game Metal Gear became a huge success.

The most fascinating thing about Hideo Kojima is his will to constantly break new grounds, no matter the risk. Even now, long after Kojima secured himself a seat amongst the greatest game developers, he isn’t settling down. Usually, each next generation is the one that brings a new revolution in a specific industry. But, in this case, Kojima’s dominance is spilling over.

Shortly after quitting Konami, the video game company Kojima helped to build, he announced Death Stranding, which came out in early November of 2019. Just like his previous work, the game broke new ground by entertaining, confusing, and shocking the audience. The most important factor is that to Kojima, failure or success seems to be just one of the risks of evolution that he doesn’t seem to care about.


You might already know that although what we do with our minds defines us, there’s more to the puzzle. Kojima’s work spanning over two decades defines him as a master game designer. But what specifically led to him defining himself in this way, we may never know. The goal of Episode EF12 was to hope to glimpse into the process via the protagonist of Episode EF12 and see how deep the rabbit hole might go.

Hideo Kojima seems to constantly be on the brink of groundbreaking new work, so if you’re interested at all in video games, here are some more deep dive on him to investigate further:


INSPIRATIONS: Episode EF12 is inspired by Erich Fromm, a social psychologist who focused on researching how we can be better people for ourselves and others. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis and the idea that we’re defined by our childhood toilet habits. Friedrich Nietzsche, a philosopher who by criticizing other philosophers figured out that good and evil go together. EF12 was further inspired by Bennett Foddy, Akira Kurosawa, Pyrrhus of Epirus, Super Mario, Charlie Brooker, Isaac Asimov, Elon Musk.


Ian H. Robertson, ‘We Built It’: The Neuroscience of Success, www.psychologytoday.com. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-winner-effect/201209/we-built-it-the-neuroscience-success   (Accessed: Feb 23, 2019).

Ellie Zolfagharifard, Failure really IS good for you: Brain scans reveal how we learn from our mistakes given time, www.dailymail.co.uk. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3210651/Failure-really-good-Brain-scans-reveal-learn-mistakes-given-time.html  (Accessed: Feb 23, 2019).

Eugene Sheely, The Winner Effect: How Success Affects Brain Chemistry, www.gamification.co. http://www.gamification.co/2014/02/21/the-winner-effect/  (Accessed: Feb 23, 2019).

Maddy Savage, Thousands Of Swedes Are Inserting Microchips Under Their Skin, www.npr.org. https://www.npr.org/2018/10/22/658808705/thousands-of-swedes-are-inserting-microchips-under-their-skin  (Accessed: Feb 23, 2019).

Jonah Engel Bromwich, Death of a Biohacker, www.nytimes.com. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/19/style/biohacker-death-aaron-traywick.html   (Accessed: Feb 23, 2019).

Keith Yu, Andrew Yang: 2020 Presidential Candidate with Transhumanist Values, www.transhuman-party.org. https://www.transhuman-party.org/andrewyangtranshumanistcandidate/   (Accessed: Feb 23, 2019).

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