The Internet - Transcript

Chapters

0:00:00 The Power of Rational Thought
0:01:21 The Enlightenment of the 18th Century
0:03:11 Breaking Down Walls with Communication Technology
0:05:33 Evolution of Media Control
0:06:54 The Unrestricted Realm of the Internet
0:08:41 Awakening Minds and Enlightenment
0:10:20 Bringing Truth to Everyone
0:10:51 Breaking Down the Chambers of Irrationality
0:11:39 Seizing the Opportunity for Truth

Long Summary

The conversation delves deep into the history of challenging tribal delusions, highlighting the dangers faced by those who dared to challenge prevailing superstitions. Throughout history, individuals who thought critically tended to keep their thoughts to themselves to avoid repercussions. The speaker emphasizes the importance of seeking like-minded individuals to connect with, to feel less isolated in one's thoughts.

The discussion shifts to the Enlightenment era, where a group of people came together to think critically, process reason and evidence, and explore philosophical truths collectively. The speaker underscores that truth cannot be arrived at in isolation, rather it requires a collective effort of cross-checking, referencing, and challenging ideas.

The emergence of communication technologies like the printing press and the internet are acknowledged for breaking down barriers of isolated delusion by allowing the dissemination of information and thoughts on a broader scale. The speaker points out the power of the internet as a medium outside of state control, enabling individuals to express, explore, and debate a wide range of ideas freely.

The conversation also touches on the impact of state control on traditional media outlets like radio, television, and newspapers, where challenging the government became increasingly dangerous and less profitable. The repeal of certain regulations in the 90s led to the rise of talk radio platforms that catered to diverse viewpoints.

The speaker emphasizes that the internet has provided a platform for rational, critical, and skeptical thinking to flourish, allowing individuals to engage in conversations, comparisons, and debates that polish the diamond of truth collectively. The potential of the internet to connect individuals, share ideas, and challenge illusions created by ruling classes is highlighted as a unique opportunity that must be embraced to progress towards a more truthful and rational society.

Tags

history, challenging tribal delusions, dangers, questioning, superstitions, critical thinking, Enlightenment era, collaborative effort, truth, communication technologies, printing press, internet, barriers, delusion, traditional media outlets, diverse viewpoints, state control, talk radio, regulation changes, internet role, fostering rational thinking, collective engagement, illusions, truthful society

Transcript

The Power of Rational Thought

[0:00] Now, the Internet is an unprecedented mechanism in human history for bringing rational thought and critical thinking together.
And one of the things that's really important to understand about our life within the tribe is that challenging tribal delusions is an extremely dangerous business throughout history.
Look at the great innovators who challenged the collective superstitions of the time. time.
Mostly we've never heard of them because they were simply killed.
But there are more famous examples that we have heard of, of course, like Galileo and Socrates and so on.
Challenging the delusions of the tribe is very dangerous. And so what happens is if you thought for yourself, if you were critical of the prevailing superstitions of your time, whether they're political or what have you, is you tended to keep these thoughts to yourself.
You kept them prisoner within your own mind.
And everybody did this. I mean, lots of people who were skeptical of communism under Stalin-Russia, Stalin-esque Russia, but they didn't really say much about it because it was so dangerous to challenge the prevailing superstitions of the time.

[1:05] So there's an old quote which says, we read to feel that we're not alone.
And that's really, really important. If you don't know anyone else who thinks for himself or for herself, you tend to keep it kind of close to your chest.
You don't really wear your heart upon your sleeve or your your brain upon your tongue, so to speak.

The Enlightenment of the 18th Century

[1:22] And at certain points in history, a group of people have gotten together to think, to be critical, to process reason and evidence, and to come to philosophical conclusions from first principles.
And there was the enlightenment of the French enlightenment of the 18th century, of course, 2,500 years ago.
Socrates and Plato and Aristotle and the small concentrated group of people interested in philosophy got together and began hand to talk and they didn't feel alone and they could explore the truth.
It's really important to understand that the truth cannot really be arrived at in a solitary manner.
The truth is a collective endeavor. If you just look at science, the degree of effort that science has put into attempting to comb out the truth, the scientific method is not something which really can be pursued by an individual alone.
It requires everybody else to cross-check, to reference, to reproduce the experiment, to challenge, to question.
The same thing is true of philosophy. It's a collective And the whole purpose of the ruling class has been to isolate us. This is the fundamental tenet of abusers.
What do abusers do first and foremost is they isolate you from anyone who might give you sympathy or anyone who's like minded or a critical thinker.
They want to isolate you. There's no better isolation tool.

[2:34] Than propaganda. Propaganda severs you from reality and makes sure that you are afraid of the truth because you found your personality on the historical momentum of inherited lies.
And therefore, you're afraid of your identity being destroyed by truth and reason and evidence, philosophy, critical thinking, and so on.
So you only seek out like-minded people and you react with hostility to any critical thinker who comes along.
So there's nothing more isolating than than propaganda.
And that isolation is what keeps people in a state of uncertainty, in a state of self-doubt. It keeps them allergic to the truth.
And this has really been the process throughout history.

Breaking Down Walls with Communication Technology

[3:12] Now, there are times where communications technology breaks down these vertical silos of isolated delusion, which we raise people in society.

[3:25] There are times when when the dissemination of information creates a sort of, it's like an acid that breaks down the walls, the invisible glass walls of the prisons of culture and superstition and irrationality.

[3:39] The only time, and there was really the time which was verbal, which was conversational based, and to some degree written, but mostly conversational.
Socrates never wrote down anything.
2,500 years ago, the Socratic and Platonic and Aristotelian revolutions of the ancient world, people conversed about truth and reason and evidence and virtue and courage and honor and dignity and revenge and all of these great things pleasure the good life what did it mean to pursue virtue how do we know if we'd achieved it what is justice all these great questions were talked about verbally in the marketplace of ideas in ancient athens and then after the murder of socrates at the hands of the democratic mob then it kind of went into hiding philosophy kind of went into hiding, and it remained alive to a smaller degree in the Eastern world and to an even smaller degree among the monks of Christendom who kept the ancient texts and did study the ancient texts. But there was no translation.
There was no translation of the ancient Greek into the vernacular of the people.
And most importantly, there was no translation of the Bible into the vernacular.
And so the Bible was what people told you it was.
You could not go and read it for yourself and think for yourself and come to your own conclusions. You could only inherit what people told you the Bible was about.
Now, with the invention of the printing press and one ridiculously brave.

[4:57] Almost suicidal monk named Martin Luther, who famously nailed his 98 thesis to the door of the church in Wittenberg and took on the entire clerical papacy of the time.
He translated the Bible in the vernacular and with the printing press it was disseminated among the people of Europe who came to their own conclusions who could get the information that they needed in order to judge for themselves and therefore reality the truth was not what people told you but what you could explore and understand for yourself unprecedented never happened before in history.

Evolution of Media Control

[5:33] I would argue that not a huge amount changed. It's certainly true that technology got far better, but the technology that got better was always controlled and managed by the state.
So radio was heavily controlled and managed by the state.
Television was heavily controlled and managed by the state.
Newspapers were heavily controlled and managed by a state. Now, there was a time when newspapers actually did what's called journalism, and journalism is when you pursue a story and don't just read the government handouts and call it news.
Now, this became less popular as time went along, As the government power grew, being critical of the government became both more dangerous and less profitable because, of course, people were most interested in what the government said because the government controlled so much of the economy that anybody who was in business or anybody who wanted to make money needed to know what the government was going to say about something.
And so reading off what the government was going to do, which the government told you, was called news and was most useful to people.
Criticizing, challenging, exposing, speaking truth to power, this was all really not that that important, with the exception that when there was a right-wing guy in the office like Nixon, the left-wing media would go after him and go at him.
And if there was a conservative judge who was considered to be put into power like Clarence Thomas, the left-wing media would go after him.
But when their guy was in power, the Clinton or Obama, they were fine.
They would just cover up and all that kind of stuff.

The Unrestricted Realm of the Internet

[6:55] Now, the internet is a medium that is outside the control of the state and for which there are no gatekeepers.
You can write, you can record, you can publish, you can argue, you can explore, you can reveal, you can make the case for or against whatever you want.
And assuming that you don't wander off the reservation into things like libel and slander and the advocation of criminal activity.

[7:23] You can speak to the world with no gatekeepers and no reliance for approval upon the power of the state.
So there was a law in America throughout a good portion of the 20th century up until the 90s, which said if you're on the radio, every time you present a political viewpoint, you have to give equal opportunity to the opposing political viewpoint, which basically made nobody want to do talk radio.
Now, when that was repealed, I think in 93, you saw the emergence of conservative talk radio.
And when the restrictions and the subjections to the power, the arbitrary power of the state, who on earth can tell what is an opposite political opinion and whether or not it's been expressed or whether or not it's been given sufficient airtime?
You can't tell. You just put yourself at the mercy of some rampaging bureaucrat who wants to make your life hell.

[8:12] So there's an example of when the power of the state is removed, you get to see a flourishing publishing of talk radio.
I mean, the Rush Limbaugh's, of course, the Michael Savage's, the Michael Coren up here in Canada, was not subject to the same restrictions, but it created a market for it.
And all of these people were able to actually talk once removed from the power of the state.
The internet has made it possible for more rational thinking, more critical thinking, more skeptical thinking to actually find an audience.

Awakening Minds and Enlightenment

[8:41] Before, there was was like one star in the sky called you and that was your brain burning and that was your brain thinking and you couldn't see any other stars.
Now with the internet, you can see these points of light appearing in the world as minds turn on, as minds awaken, as enlightenment.

[8:57] There's no greater light in the universe than the power of the rational mind because it's the power of the rational mind that actually figured out what light is and how stars work and how they burn and how long they'll last.
No brighter light, but we couldn't see it before.
You know, the human eye is so sensitive, it can detect a lit match on a mountaintop even a mile or two away.
But we cannot see a thinking mind without the internet.
It's very, very hard to do it. You might come across some dusty book like Lysander Spooner from 150 years ago that nobody's ever heard of, but you can't really create truth with the dead.
You can enjoy their thoughts, but you cannot reason with them.
You cannot debate with them.
You cannot continually polish the diamond of truth, which is a social endeavor.
But with the internet, we can see each other.
These lights in the sky, it's no longer one star, one burning mind that you know, which is your own, which you have to kind of keep hidden from everyone else.
Now you can see others. You can see constellations of thinkers.
You can find people who think, and you can engage in the process of conversation.
You can engage in the process of comparison.
You can engage in the compare and contrast that is required to polish the diamond of truth.
It's a social endeavor through the internet that was never possible before.
Because we can now talk to the world.

Bringing Truth to Everyone

[10:21] Unfettered, unencumbered with low production costs or virtually no production costs.
You can write on a napkin and type at a public library if you want, but you can bring truth, reason, evidence, and the passion of rationality and critical thinking to everyone in the world who's interested. Unprecedented.
Unprecedented. It's like having a giant laser that you can write the truth of mankind on the face of the moon and have it seen forever, except that would only be nighttime. time. You can even see it during the day now.

Breaking Down the Chambers of Irrationality

[10:52] So with the internet, we have the capacity to break down the isolating, clear glass prison chambers of irrationality, of superstition, of patriotism, of dependence upon the momentum of illusions which serve the ruling classes.
We can break those down. We can reach through. We can connect.
We can connect, as E.M. Forster of the 19th century novel has said in two words, only connect is the most important thing.
With connection, we can bring the truth to the world.
Isolated, we are weak.

[11:23] Together, it's the old analogy of the stick. One stick you can break, right? 40 sticks, you can't.
And we have a capacity for unity and the progress towards truth and reason and a higher moral state that never before occurred occurred in history.

Seizing the Opportunity for Truth

[11:39] We must seize it now because it may not last forever.
This incredible opportunity, this window, this portal to a different kind of world has opened up, but it may not stay open forever and it may shut extremely rapidly.
We must seize the day now and bring as much truth, as concentrated a truth, as passionate as entertaining a truth as we can and join all the stars in the night sky to create a new day for the species.



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