(EF19) BTP-EF4: Head Transplantation and Finding Inspiration for Speculative Fiction Behind the Podcast of Episode EF4

(EF19) BTP-EF4: Head Transplantation and Finding Inspiration for Speculative Fiction — Behind the Podcast of Episode EF4

PLAY | DOWNLOAD 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? Finally, is there a way to optimize your mindset and take the best out of every world? 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 EF19 Summary

Spoiler alert: You’re about to listen to a Behind the Podcast (BTP) 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 BTP) 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. Back in 2017 when the controversial head transplant was announced we learned that there are exactly two crazy enough people to try it out. One would use the knife and the other would go under the knife. Since the surgery was canceled, we still don’t know what the results might have been, but we can speculate and create a knowledge template for when it happens.

To peek behind the curtain of Episode EF4, we’ll dissect the following submitted questions:

  • I remember hearing about the head transplant operation in real life. Were you inspired by that?
  • You have said this Episode could have been the best in the season, but wasn’t … why? And how did it change the podcast?
  • Was the rationalism-empiricism-skepticism thing just a red herring? Or is that legit rationale?
  • Do you make the music? That last track is intense!
  • This Story was complex to follow, what were the challenges in writing it?
  • Could we really discover if there’s soul?
  • Would the consequences be as bad as you predict? (History being rewritten)?
  • 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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