(EF20) AMA-EF4: The Declining Value of Information and Taking Risks to Determine What is the Truth — Ask Me Anything of Episode EF4PLAY
In this episode, we'll discover what do the theories of rationalism, empiricism and skepticism have to say about the way we gain new knowledge. Why do rationalism and empiricism seem to collide on how humans function? Would it work to instead just be a skeptic every time you face a new obstacle? More...
How Can You Know Anything?
The big question driving Episode EF4 is… How can you know anything? People rarely think about the origins of knowledge. From where does everything we know come from? It does sound a bit stupid to ask until you realize that knowledge rarely changes. Yes, there is the knowledge that’s set in stone like that if you have two apples and add another two, you’ll have four.
But 300 years ago, the common knowledge was that the only way to communicate long-distance is using birds. Today, thanks to development and thus the constant change of knowledge, we can communicate anyway we want – pic or no pic. So if knowledge is constantly developing, does that mean you should evolve as well? But how if knowledge, the tool for development, is constantly shifting as well? Who knows, maybe in a near future, adding two apples to a basket with two apples will no longer make four.
Episode EF20 Summary
Spoiler alert: You’re about to listen to a Ask Me Anything (AMA) of Episode EF4, which was Season 1, Episode 2 of the Evolve Faster Podcast titled The Decapitation of Reason: A Skeptic’s Guide. The driving question of this episode (and this AMA) for you to think through is … How can you know anything? It’s a fascinating question that actually has surprisingly little research or philosophical investigation.
As a reminder about Episode EF4: At the height of his success, a controversial philosopher named Ian Ament reveals a dangerous plan to do a head transplant swap with his brother. Nobody knows why and both the scientific and medical communities at large are very concerned. In a tense live interview being viewed around the world with a potential surgeon, Ross Hunter, Ament methodically explains his reasoning. Yet his reasons only bring more questions. Is there something more behind Ament’s plan? For the next 60 minutes of this interview, the historical arc of reason—and Ian’s head—are both on the chopping block as we wait to find out if the ax will fall.
The second episode of the first season of the Evolve Faster Podcast Episode is driven by the big question How can we know anything. Knowing if you know something is one of those hard-to-open jars that, at first, don’t provide much more than an uncomfortable smell. But the more you try it out, the more you create an acquired taste for this awkward concept.
To peek behind the curtain of Episode EF4, we’ll dissect the following submitted questions:
- Could there possibly be someone crazy enough to cut off his head just to prove a point? Could something like this happen?
- Will deep VR rewrite the rules of empiricism? Is reality subjective?
- Are you saying that if we can’t really know anything that it means knowledge isn’t important?
- Is Ament based on someone? Hunter?
- Why the question “How Can We Know Anything?”
- Would / could we ever throw out one of the models?
- What did you mean by that Nietzsche quote: Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster?
- What do the final lines of the episode mean? What happened?
- What does he do? Will this be resolved later in the season?
- And more…
Into The Rabbit Hole
SHOW NOTES: This episode is dedicated to Richard Dawkins. See the EF19 Show Notes for details of the dedication, inspirations, references, selected quotes and more.
ABOUT THE EVOLVE FASTER PODCAST: Everything is changing, yet the questions that drive us remain the same. Will humanity face the absurdity of our collective existential crisis in time? Join Scott Ely as he takes us deep into the rabbit hole with philosophical tales to reboot your mind, upgrade your life and explore your soul. To Evolve Faster is to see the fact that you will die someday as a formidable challenge, instead of a source of immense fear. Create your reality…before it creates you. Isn’t it time for an upgrade? More episodes…
SUBSCRIBE: The Evolve Faster Podcast is written, performed and produced by Scott Ely. Writing and production of each episode of the podcast is a significant undertaking spanning many months—it’s a labor of love, but it needs your help to survive. To help ensure the creation of more episodes, please learn about ways you can support the podcast (register, share, review and subscribe) on the Support Evolve Faster page. Your help is much appreciated.
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Season One: The journey begins as we embark on 11 episodes on big questions relating to MIND. What is the truth? Can we trust reason? Why do we have emotions? Does happiness define the good? What is identity? What is creativity?
(EF1) Trailer: The Evolve Faster Podcast (Extended) Trailer
(EF2) Intro: Life is a Near Death Experience: Welcome to The Evolve Faster Podcast
(EF3) S1-E1: All Aboard the Experience Machine: Destination…Unknown (Season One, Episode One)
(EF4) S1-E2: The Decapitation of Reason: A Skeptic’s Guide (Season One, Episode Two)
(EF5) S1-E3: The Truth is Clay in the Hands of a Sculptor (Season One, Episode Three)
(EF6) S1-E4: Information Mainlining and the Folly of Modern Wisdom (Season One, Episode Four)
(EF7) S1-E5: Sleight of Mind: The Black Magic of Rhetoric (Season One, Episode Five)
(EF8) S1-E6: Without a Compass: All Who Sail the Seas of Identity Are Not Lost (Season One, Episode Six)
(EF9) S1-E7: I Feel Therefore I am: Capsized by the River Emotion (Season One, Episode Seven)
(EF10) S1-E8: The Road to Happiness is Inked in Suffering (Season One, Episode Eight)
(EF11) S1-E9: When the Lights Go Out: The Blinding Light of an Artificial Future (Season One, Episode Nine)
(EF12) S1-E10: Wired to Fail: Leveling Up in the Game of Life (Season One, Episode Ten)
(EF13) S1-E11: The Bloody Fingerprint of Creativity (Season One, Episode Eleven)
(EF14) BTP: Behind the Evolve Faster Podcast - The Making of a Speculative Fiction Meets Philosophical Nonfiction Podcast
(EF15) AMA: Ask Me Anything: About Scott Ely and Evolving a Philosophy for Life
(EF16) BTP: On Creative Writing, Video Games and the Future of the Evolve Faster Podcast (About Antonio Rozich)
(EF17) BTP-EF3: What Am I Supposed To Do Free Will and Other Everyday Problems Behind the Podcast of Episode EF3
(EF18) AMA-EF3: The Mystical Allure of Converting to Buddhism and Speculating about Quantum Mechanics Ask Me Anything for Episode EF3
(EF19) BTP-EF4: Head Transplantation and Finding Inspiration for Speculative Fiction - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF4
(EF20) AMA-EF4: The Declining Value of Information and Taking Risks to Determine What is the Truth Ask Me Anything of Episode EF4
(EF21) BTP-EF5: Should Lying be Made Illegal and the Importance of Figuring Out Why You Believe What you Believe --Behind the Podcast of Episode EF5
(EF22) AMA-EF5: Defeating Fake News and Critical Thinking as the Superpower the World Needs Most Ask Me Anything of Episode EF5
(EF23) BTP-EF6: Scaling Mount Wisdom Without Suffocating Under an Avalanche of Ego Behind The Podcast of Episode EF6
(EF24) AMA-EF6: Is Less Really More When it Comes to the Pursuit of Wisdom or is Ignorance Bliss - Ask Me Anything of Episode EF6
(EF25) BTP-EF7: The Power of Propaganda and Rhetoric to Divide Us and the Quest for a Better World - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF7
(EF26) AMA-EF7: The Impossibility of Honest Politicians and Protecting Our Kids from The Most Insidious Fake News Ask Me Anything for Episode EF3
(EF27) BTP-EF8: Who are You and is it Possible to Upgrade Your Identity as an Adult? - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF8
(EF28) AMA-EF8: Drugs, Consciousness Manipulation and Cheating Your Way To a Better You - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF8
(EF29) BTP-EF9: Waging War Between Reason and Emotions and the Importance of Leaving Things Unresolved Behind the Podcast of Episode EF9
(EF30) AMA-EF9: Emotional Manipulation Tribalism and Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Think Before you Feel - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF9
(EF31) BTP-EF10: Dharma Modifying Negative Thinking and the Never-Ending Pursuit of Happiness by Embracing Suffering - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF10
(EF32) AMA-EF10: Mind Control Through a Well Chosen Tattoo and the Unlikely Case of Being Happy Enough - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF3
(EF33) BTP-EF11: The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Creativity - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF11
(EF34) AMA-EF11: On Perfection, the AI Alignment Problem, and the Possibility of Quantum Leaps of Creativity - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF11
(EF35) BTP-EF12: Cryptocurrencies Gaming and Leveraging Failure to Help Us Define Who We Are - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF12
(EF36) AMA-EF12: Pyrrhic Victory and Finding the 10% of Your Mind that Defines Who You Are - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF12
(EF37) BTP-EF13: Where Creativity Comes From and How to Find Your Uniquely Bloody Fingerprint - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF13
(EF38) AMA-EF13: Flow, Creative Improvisation and Other Altered States of Consciousness Ask Me Anything for Episode EF13
(EF39) S2-E0: LIFE, UPGRADED: Welcome to Season Two of the Evolve Faster Podcast
(EF40) S2-E1: Dehumanized: The Search for Self in the Devil’s Looking Glass
(EF41) S2-E2: Transhuman Fallibility: The Existential Risk of a Superhuman Future
(EF42) S2-E3: Civil Individualism: Loneliness Atop Mount Empowerment
(EF43) S2-E4: Evil Urges: The Fiery Duality of Human Nature
(EF44) S2-E5: Reality Unchained: Smashing the Icons of Social Delusion
(EF45) S2-E6: Weaving Society’s Web: Purpose in a Future Without Work
(EF46) S2-E7: Empathetic Distortion: Rigging the Scales of Justice
(EF47) S2-E8: Infinite Regress: Drawing Back The Veil of Perception
(EF48) S2-E9: Checkmate: A Child’s Guide to the Good Life
(EF49) S2-E10: The Domino Effect: The Momentum of an Unstoppable Future