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Ep 25: Consumerism as an Ethos; Why Can’t Money Buy Us Happiness?

Welcome one and All to Professor Metal’s Irate Debate and Calamitous Commentary with the Philosophical Chain Gang

Today’s Episode is Consumerism as an Ethos: Why Can’t Money Buy Happiness?

Sean explains how consumerism could be considered an ethos

Ryver talks about the idea of the Loss Leader ideology

The Philosophers talk about the replacement of certain societal values with consumerist values

Bruce and Sean discuss the difference between improving quality of life and just gathering more possessions to have more possessions

Ryver explains Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Sean brings up the basis of Maslow’s Hierarchy and how it does and does not apply to our society

Bruce discusses these from a utilitarian perspective

Sean and Bruce debate where the line between our needs as humans and our needs as participants in modern society lies

Bruce talks about the effects of economic decline on consumerism and the inverse

Ryver counters with an explanation of our recent economic decline

Sean talks about the effects of increased production without increased consumption, specifically in the wake of economic decline

Bruce and Sean discuss economic bubbles and how it effects the economy as a whole

The Philosophers talk about the housing bubble and who made it out ahead as a result of this

Bruce brings it around to intangible values

Sean discusses opportunity costs as they apply to these values

Ryver and Bruce talk about status symbols and the role of rational actors in the economy

Sean and Ryver explain the effects of badge value in status symbols and ways in which that can be controlled

The Philosophers discuss the impacts of badge value on modern marketing

Sean talks about the history of marketing, as well as Edward Bernays and his role in the evolution of marketing

The Philosophers discuss the importance of both education and introspection to understanding how marketing effects both consumerism and psychology

Sean and Ryver talk about the way marketing shows objects that are not significantly better than what we already have as being things we cannot live without

Bruce takes the last word to talk about what it means to be an “informed consumer” and the role of introspection into what actually makes you happy, as well as where you can acquire happiness

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Ep 24: Superheroes and Persona; Can You Have a Secret Identity Crisis?

Welcome one and all to Professor Metal’s Irate Debate and Calamitous Commentary with the Philosophical Chain Gang
Today’s Episode is Superheroes and Persona: Can you have a secret identity crisis?
The Philosophers talk about what one’s identity is composed of
Sean addresses the philosophical concepts of identity as relates to superheroes
Bruce talks about what defines a superhero
Ryver interjects why the secret identity is so common in the realm of superheroes
Sean breaks down the concepts of identity that will be discussed
The Philosophers talk about the combined identity, when a hero is, for one of many reasons, inseparable from their heroic identity
Sean discusses the somewhat fluid nature of the identity of some super-powered people, such as Mystique.
Bruce brings up superheroes who are two people combined into one body
Sean compares this to the inverse of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Ryver talks about this in relation to Deadpool
Sean talks about the lack of accountability that can occur from using the masks to hide a heroes identity
The Philosophers discuss how this relates to The Watchmen
Ryver and Sean talk about the meaning and power of masks in history
Bruce talks about how this relates to Superheroes
Sean talks about the assumed identity of the Red Hood from the Batman mythos
Sean brings the conversation around to the concept of the Split Persona, the idea that the person behind the mask and the person they are when they are wearing the mask are somewhat different people
Ryver talks about how the identity of someone wearing the mask of Batman has, in a way, become larger and more prevalent than anyone behind it could become on their own
Bruce brings up the idea that Bruce Wayne is not the real person in that dynamic, but more a tool and strategy employed by the Batman
Ryver points out  that Clark Kent plays a very similar role for Superman, just in a different way.
Sean points out the disparity in those situations
Ryver brings up Spider-Man/Peter Parker as prime example of the Split Personality concept
Sean goes into detail about this disparity of identity
Bruce brings up the Hulk as good example, with no transparency of even memory between the characters of The Hulk and Bruce Banner
Ryver brings up The Flash as a Split AND group personality
Sean moves the conversation into group or Inherited personality, starting with The Dread Pirate Roberts
Ryver talks about how prevalent this concept is in comic books
Bruce expounds on the importance of core origin story, and some factors that may lead to some mantles being passed that occur outside of the storyline itself
Ryver talks about the Elseworlds and What If series of comics as a means to retell an existing story
Sean expands on the points about the Red Sun comics, and how this relates to literature
Ryver discusses the Green Lantern as an archetype of the inherited personality concept, and how this allows writers to tell different stories about the same hero
Sean talks about the seeking out of a person who fits a particular archetype for the Green Lantern, creating similar, though not identical, type of hero
Ryver explains this point in greater detail
Sean and Ryver talk about the fairly recent controversial passing of the mantle of Thor, and how this relates to the politics of the comics industry
Bruce and Sean transition to talking about how these concepts relate to personas that we can identify with, and why the outsider nature of many heroes makes them in some ways more relatable
Ryver discusses the therapeutic effect of this relationship between reader and comic
Sean talks about how this relates to both the real world and other media
The Philosophers expand on these ideas as it relates to the reader’s identity
Sean closes the main conversation with some interesting questions about why we feel the way we do when characters change
Professor Metal takes the last word to challenge comic writers to come up with characters that budding young villains can really look up to.

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Ep 23: The Walking Dead and Hobbes; Better off dead?

Welcome one and all to Professor Metal’s Irate Debate and Calamitous Commentary with the Philosophical Chain Gang.

Today’s Episode is The Walking Dead and Hobbes: Better off Dead?

Sean and Ryver talk about what The Walking Dead is

The Philosophers discuss why zombies are not the focus of the show

Ryver brings in how this relates to the work of Thomas Hobbes

Sean talks about how Hobbes looks at human nature

Ryver and Bruce expand on this view

Sean discusses Hobbes as a response to Rousseau

Bruce talks about books that try to highlight Rousseau’s ideas

Ryver and Sean bring up Lord of the Flies and the Ring of Gyges, which very much supports Hobbes

The Philosophers talks about the themes from Hobbes in The Walking Dead and other post-apocalyptic media

Ryver and Bruce discuss how this relates to Game Theory and the Cold War

Sean talks about the psychology that would lead to confrontational behaviour between the groups in The Walking Dead

Professor Metal presents questions about Canadian Zombies

The Philosophers discuss other post-apocalyptic media

Sean looks at how media wherein the Social Contract is stripped away looks at what happens when this occurs.

Bruce and Sean discuss how that plays out in the history of the real world

Ryver and Sean talk about how this relates to our current social contract

Bruce brings up that the economics of survival in the small groups in The Walking Dead make interpersonal conflict a luxury they really cannot afford

Sean discusses the importance of approval within the group as a powerful motivator

Ryver and Bruce discuss the motivations and advantages of the formation of societies

Sean talks about the other side of the post-apocalyptic coin: when our civilization takes off ahead of us, such as the storyline of Terminator

Ryver and Bruce expand on this point

Sean brings up that which enemy we fight in a given media is, perhaps, not as important as the fact that we are fixated on having media with some kind of enemy

Bruce and Sean raise the question of what we are like without civilization, and how what we think the answer is tells us something about ourselves

Ryver takes the last word to talk about The Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes, and why he disagrees with some ideas raised therein.

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Ep 22: Steampunk; What’s to Love about Revisionist History?

Welcome one and all to Professor Metal’s Irate Debate and Calamitous Commentary with the Philosophical Chain Gang.

Steampunk: What’s to love about Revisionist History?
The Philosophers discuss what makes Steampunk appealing in broad strokes
Bruce defines Steampunk as a Victorian Era aesthetic
Sean clarifies that it is a much more egalitarian and diverse aesthetic than the actual Victorian Era
The Philosophers go on to discuss the technological aspects of Steampunk
Bruce questions why the Victorian Era is an appealing focus
Sean talks about the other many other focuses by different subcultures, from fantasy to far future
Ryver discusses the sources of the Steampunk aesthetic, such as HG Wells
Sean posits that the appeal may be in looking back and taking a revisionist approach to an otherwise difficult time in history
Bruce brings up the rapid growth of society and technology during the this time period
Sean talks about the impact of lengthening human life spans on this growth
Ryver questions what the essence of Steampunk is
Sean elaborates his definition of Steampunk and the relationship to the Punk ethos
Bruce talks about the piecemeal recreation of history to make it better
Ryver and Sean discuss the desire to not repeat the history and the glorification of the positive aspects of it
Bruce talks about how this relates to the future created in Star Trek
Sean questions whether or not it is a good thing to somewhat brush over the mistakes of the past
Bruce responds that there is very little mistaking Steampunk for Victorian history
Ryver talks about how this brushing over of the tragic events of history was quite common before the Modern era
Sean presents the idea that making these corrections allows us to hold on to the lessons learned by understanding what we are correcting
The Philosophers discuss what the Punk is, and how it influences the aesthetic and ethos of Steampunk
Bruce moves on to discuss the origins of both the term and the idea of Steampunk
Sean questions what Steampunk has to offer us
Ryver expresses the idea that it is something of a coping mechanism for looking at a dark place in history
Bruce and Ryver discuss that it may be a useful tool for analyzing our own era in history
Sean talks about the Steampunk essay and how it relates to Cyberpunk
Bruce expresses the optimism of the Victorian era and the technological dead ends of the time
Ryver discuss what were effectively mega corporations of the Victorian era
Sean talks about the individual desire for revision of history, and how changing how we look at past events can make us better prepared for the future
Professor Metal takes the last word to talk about how Philosophy can enrich your life, World Domination, and Super Villainy
A new game, To Ascertain Verisimilitude, where Ryver attempts to determine which of the cast is truthfully representing the philosopher John Stuart Mill


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Ep 21: WWII Propaganda; Does Uncle Sam Want You?


Welcome to Professor Metal’s Irate Debate and Calamitous Commentary with the Philosophical Chain Gang

Themes in World War II Propaganda: Does Uncle Sam want you?

The Philosophers discuss what the role of propaganda was in World War II (WWII)

Bruce talks about WWII propaganda as the last thing most cultures were all on board with

Sean talks about the heroic themes therein

Ryver brings up that everyone was in on the propaganda machine

Sean and Ryver talk about the beginnings of the stirring of war, and how this was behind the start of the rise of propaganda

Sean brings up Winston Churchill and his ability to spin things into a galvanizing light

Bruce talks about the cohesiveness created by the need to keep the populace relatively calm

Ryver notes the supporters of Germany found in both the US and Britain leading up to WWII

Sean discusses the different types of propaganda found in this era, and the radical epic stories that effected us as individuals and nations

Bruce brings up that fascism was as popular as any other ideology in America during the lead up to WWII and that there were, prior to US involvement, a great many supporters of the Nazis within America.

Ryver analyses the major “National Characters” of the time, such as Uncle Sam and Britannia

Sean and Ryver touch on the representations of National Characters, both the symbolic representations and the characterizations, such as G.I. Joe and Captain America.

Bruce talks about the departure from the standard Hero’s Journey and the idealisation of the every-man

Sean counters with the possibility that having a character that is a stand-in for the average person is less useful when trying to mobilise a war effort

Ryver explains that this may be a part of making people more willing to support the effort, such as accepting rationing as an important part of fighting the war, making people feel that they were directly contributing to victory by giving up certain comforts

Bruce talks about how this was actually a core tenant of the ideals we were fighting against

Sean expands further on the idea of people helping fight the war by willing to forgo certain things and to use what one had even farther than they might otherwise be willing, such as wearing shoes until they were completely worn through

Ryver gets into the other side of propaganda, the fear-mongering that occurred and he villainisation of the other sides in the conflict

Sean also talks about how this extended to even being wary of one’s own compatriots in some circumstances

Bruce discusses the role of technology and information in WWII, and how much more important it was than in previous conflicts

The Philosophers expand on some of these changes, from changes in espionage to the relevance of radio technology

Bruce proposes an idea on how to get an entire population, largely dispossessed, gets on board with a new ideology

Sean responds by discussing the events what led up to this, and how the war, in a way, provided some answers to the questions raised by the advancement of technology and the changing of how we live our lives

Ryver talks about the Soviet Union, the ways their propaganda was shaped, and some of the ways that they culturally reacted to the war

Bruce likens some of the stories to old pulp Western novels, and how this is similar to the uplifting of the every-man like the propaganda of the western world

Sean explains the appeal of the stories of the every-man

Bruce and Sean expand on the power these stories had over the national attitude

Ryver talks about some of the cultural differences between the Soviet Union and America

Bruce discusses the era around WWII as the beginning of the rise to a major player in the world stage

The Philosophers talk about the ways in which various factions kept both morale and obedience to the highest possible level

Sean talks about the role of Philosophy in analysing the past

Bruce discusses the idea of Just War and what that means

Ryver expands the idea of propaganda stepping outside the theatre of war, and how this impacts specifically American views of the rest of the world

Sean takes the last word to discuss how the themes from history impact our modern lives, and how media literacy is important to see through the propaganda machine

And as always please give us your honest review on iTunes and Stitcher. It helps us make the show better with every one we get to read.

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Ep 20:Privacy and the Internet; Where Private Rights Meet Public Wrongs

Welcome one and all to Professor Metal’s Irate Debate and Calamitous Commentary with the Philosophical Chain Gang.

This episode, we will be covering Doxxing.

Ryvers offers an explanation of what Doxxing is

Sean clarifies the distinctions in the definition, including that it specifically includes the release of vital information

Bruce asks wherein the line lies between Doxxing and just talking about someone

Sean explains that intent is largely irrelevant in the definition of Doxxing, but that what we will be discussing a more… malicious form thereof.

Bruce talks about things from back in the day that already have personal information that is widely disseminated: the Phone Book (See Whitepages if you do not know what these are).

Ryver and Sean discuss that these are easily stopped if one does not wish to be found in them and that these are not useful in these contacts.

Bruce talks about how if everyone is included in this information, that people are less likely to be terrible to each other.

Ryver brings up the localised nature of these means and how this is different from Doxxing.

Sean explains the differences in celebrity culture between then and now, and how Doxxing effects people in ways that were not likely to be problematic in the same way in the past.

Sean gives a brief history of the origins of what we now call Doxxing.

Ryver wonders if Doxxing can be used in a positive fashion, and that he does not believe it can.

Bruce proposes that most people will believe it to be negative, save in a specific circumstance that can only be resolved via special pleading.

Sean explains that even if we could find an issue where we might find it be universally acceptable, it might still be an immoral means of accomplishing these goals.

The conversation turns ad hitlerum, and Professor Metal takes umbrage at the implication of Hitler as the archetypal villain.

Bruce decides that the use of Doxxing is perhaps immoral, whereas Sean thinks that the practice itself is not immoral, but the uses of it definitely are.

Sean raises the possibility of this being a question of Justice as retributive or preventive.

Bruce and Sean come to the conclusion that Doxxing will likely continue to be used in awful ways, and that it is likely to continue being problematic.

Ryver discusses that there is a certain level of information that is not problematic, and that this information that leads to someone else actively seeking the target out is not an immoral act on the part of the person releasing this information.

Sean debates the fine points of Ryver’s argument.

Bruce talks about the responsibility to protect each other’s anonymity, which Sean disagrees with.

Sean comes back to and further explains his belief that Doxxing is more of a moral grey area than it is immoral.

Bruce and Ryver argue the points of this view.

Sean presents the possibility of Doxxing as social policy issue.

The Philosophers discuss the social and personal implications of Doxxing as it effects jobs, social interactions, personal safety, and general societal welfare.

Bruce and Sean discuss the effects of this on anonymity.

Ryver brings up anonymity in regards to celebrity culture.

Sean and Bruce discuss the impacts of celebrity and whether or not those in the culture should be treated differently in regards to personal information.

Ryver expresses the belief that celebrity does not, or at least should not, confer different status.

Sean expresses disagreement with Ryver’s argument.

Ryver defends his argument.

Sean and Bruce discuss the special place in culture that celebrity occupy.

The Philosophers discuss the difference between gradually attained and immediately gained celebrity status.

The Philosophers discuss the backlash that can often effect people with names or usernames similar in some way to people in celebrity culture.

Bruce expresses the belief that Doxxing sort of comes down to either bullying or vigilantism, and as such is, at best, irresponsible.

Sean suggests that Doxxing is ultimately a power game in a great many ways.

Ryver takes The Last Word

Ryver discusses having met a fair number of people with a great deal of celebrity, and that they are largely just like everyone else. Celebrity does not grant one charisma, confidence, or force of personality that is often expected. Ryver gives tips on how to deal with meeting someone of celebrity.

Professor Metal tells you to help support the Podcast. Or Else.

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Ep 19: Anonymity and the Internet; Just Who Do You Think You Are?

welcome one and all to Professor metals like a great debate and calamitous commentary with the philosophical chain gang. Today’s episode and in the media on the Internet just who do you think you are. I’m your host Professor Meadow and river. I’m Sean and I’m burgers and some things may have been changed to protect the innocent. I’ve also blurred your faces to protect our identities further you know because I just built this really cool machine I want to try it out. Oh I did feel a little bit if you will say in theory will learn and that’s a great question. We’re doing science here. All right I just want everybody know this is a special episode and do the content. There are a lot of F. bombs in this so if you don’t want to hear those might not be be absurd for you just let me know. We hope you enjoy it anyway. This is the Internet. Yes the concept of a pseudonym or there was no name whatsoever just lame lists chillis face in the maelstrom as it were. Well not even to face them and to be honest most people are most closely associated you know insular community of internet personalities by an avatar which has nothing to do with Face it has to do with an image that you associate in a sim. More kind of way but it’s certainly not required to be out of it and I may be represented by a robot dog. Sure a lot of people pick an image that they think goes with the type of voice they want to convey. This used to be almost all of the Internet. Are you thinking you know the mid to late ninety’s early two thousand and it that pretty much was everything was what I would call pseudonymity. You come up with a name and Avatar and it starts to build a reputation within that community. So you have a certain amount of degree of caring about what you say because you want to create for better or worse a particular reputation for that identity you created for yourself. Since then we’ve got those like four chan which go for like Universal anonymity where there really isn’t even an identity that you have that you’re trying to get across there’s just the message and things like Facebook which are pushing for just open this is who you actually are. Well to be fair with fortune you can have a site you can choose to voluntarily create a username that goes onto your post you just want to try to I think where we saw a larger degree of the pseudonym and you’re talking about I think the old online service days back in the air wells and Compu Serve as an adult when your ability to walk into that system necessitated this particular unit because it was after that that we developed the ability to have multiple users which didn’t create anonymity in the sort of distributed way but true and I was no longer responsible for what Mr X R five three said. Right I was only responsible for what I said on my main account. So I would use my dummy account to save the other things. But there’s still a lot of places that kind of do that I mean something awful still around Fark still around. Pen is mightier I think it’s still around and we do see some artifact ing from Earth. Earlier there that includes this but you’re right I think in a sort of distributed way we see more and indignity where if you want turf basically burn your account you can you can shut down the account and start a completely new one if you felt you’ve done something wrong or there is nothing more you can do with that account or you pissed off somebody to such a degree that you don’t want to be associated with it anymore or something. Well and I think any discussion of IN THE UNION going to have to touch on the changes that have gone on recently in places like you to comment search that were subtle is mostly vicious. Before the change that they said we can’t have an annuity anymore you don’t deserve anonymity Internet people instead we’re going to make you start a war in the end if you want to say something through an accountant we can measure. Now you can have multiple accounts or ways to get around that to have various things but yet it was by at least forcing you to use that system you created a certain level of accountability even if it’s just your trolling dummy account address and trouble at least you can shop. Yet don’t think Islam is them thinking you know who deserves what and I think a lot of people think about the decisions that sites make in those terms. So I just want to have better content. That’s what they’re viewing it as I mean what went through your commentary is a joke. That’s something you just want to improve and it isn’t about whether you like or dislike or what they deserve what they say they should have gotten this is trying to come up with this is going to generate better read it does it an interesting way they’ve got the karma system so that you know identity is a great you have a reputation you may actually care about this one you want to say more popular things sort of gets more points but then again you can have as many throw away counts as you want you can quit of them over the same email address. Absolutely and recently we started to see this term for the burner account. Harken back to sort of the burger photo and cell phones that you would use to make illicit transactions or you wouldn’t want to keep or rather you just break and toss out or get rid of in some fashion. But we’re seeing it in an Internet space where you create an account you say what you want to say and then you let it fall by the wayside affectively or call it when you want to say something unpleasant or if you want to troll someone there or say something that isn’t popular maybe. So the seem to be kind of a range of overlap between full anonymity which is I’m sort of maxed out with the fortune without a log in and some form of pseudonymity. But even so it is not and it’s not so much in the days when the of really the only identity you can present yourself is the log in that you need for your eyes to the one that you can’t escape. There’s a whole range between then and then there is the real identity pushing out which one thing Facebook pushes or which created a lot of interesting those are quinces lately. Oh certainly there are some problems as it were with folks that have gone under pseudonyms and they’ve run into some problems with Facebook for one reason or another there are other without their real name and with this whole identity you have to really be you sort of thing there’s it’s caused some very big problems. I got on Facebook in some hot water about it. Facebook is in some sense only responding to a larger sense that there needs to be an accountability for the kinds of things that go on. Right now you may want to be the center of that accountability and you want to be the profile that you used to be accountable for things of that responding to other places on the Internet wanting accountability from the users there. That’s certainly fair and I do think we’ve seen a greater push for accountability like you mentioned the You Tube having to be. Connected directly to the plus and the red carpet system although that’s a little more favorable. I don’t want to say as far as reputation goes there are proven tactics to improve karma. Why doesn’t I was thinking of the pictures are always in verging on Reddit and in the real world especially for you and Standard Time on a Monday morning. Eventually if you pick up the one of the some of the really good one that somebody posted at sixty six and then reposed So we’re getting down to the real meat of this which is why why do these sites want you to stop. Why does there have to be accountability and the answer to that is fairly obviously trolling or similar behavior to trolling in the federal action intended account which is hard for I think is the point where we need to bring a real greater Internet. Very I agree wholeheartedly. River. Get real. Greater theory comes from one of the creators of Penny Arcade comic that’s been around for a number of years at this point and illustrates the problem with the theory itself states that if you have a normally reasonable person that abides by social norms and what have you and you add open access to the Internet and the promise of you end up with kind of a bastard that person will use that to make me say the things that they didn’t think they could get away with Otherwise they will say the hateful things and this sort of catharsis almost So the reason that having internet to it is so important because it has not yet put someone out there for them to speak to in a way that causes them. Do you then want to say things that will attract more attention. Whether those things are positive or negative attention grabbers are still attention grabber and anonymity and that person can grab attention with any outlandish statement they wanted and we can say something like over curtains there has been some five hundred sixty five and you can have a lot of people who are fans of The Beatles being like I beg your pardon and kind of come up with these outlandish theories and the other thing and you have this like you said a captive audience. You may find it hopeful or you may find depressing relatively speaking. But when we see all of these Internet five words from the theory out there we think it seems like somewhere between forty and seventy percent of humanity is just horrible horrible horrible people all the time when actually in real They’re perfectly OK people every once in a while they can’t help just saying the horrible thing and then going back to being a perfectly OK person. If pressed on those if they have a response to the excuses Well this is all fun. Nobody really cares what goes on online. That was more true in the earlier days of the Internet when people didn’t rely on it so much from people didn’t take it quite so seriously when it was a smaller subset of the general population using it and they were using it less. Now there are serious consequences to people for the things that people say online and there’s not so much oh we can just discount it or ignore it. So the good news is that it’s not that there are a whole bunch of really really awful people out there it’s that we’re all almost all of us a little bit and occasionally awful which I’m not sure if that makes you feel better about humanity or worse it makes me feel a little bit better knowing that there aren’t like you know about half of a population are just horrible horrible people. We’re just all a little bit horrible and it creeps out every once in awhile. Specially when we’ve got the opportunity. Well one thing essential nature of human interactions under. He’s actually very old question it seems like all of us posting on those artifacts of living in modern era when in fact it’s not as a matter of fact if we went back pointer will see that there is an example in the gives in what he calls the ring of graduates so the red ink Guy G. story a man finds a magical ring sort of Lord Of The Rings that makes him invisible except that not always making them completely detectable so he cannot be hurting him. Snow sleet and ice is present is unknown when he gets access to his reply to his question is what is you do with it what is the first thing that a person given this power would do the question is about what human beings would do if there were no consequence for their actions. Which is essentially the problem then. For Plato the answer is he murders steals a cruise power has sex with his brother’s wife when he was just a terrible terrible part was for having access to our house you answer the question of what one does with the limit got a G.’s reflects what you think the essential character of human beings as a whole is when presented with the ability to be ominous. Why do you think I locked away when a woman gets here. Well not in this room so just convert other rooms. Maybe other places. However sometimes a group of people working in him that he can come up with better decision making because know that it’s tied to the status or particulars or point expertise and let’s get another serious philosophical example John wrote below ignorance to determine fairness in utilitarian elations you imagine what if we could decide what the rules of society would be before we’re born into society. This part analogy in and out of it if you’re into it imagine there are a bunch of souls who are about to be born into a particular country and you don’t know who your parents are going to be or where you’re going to be born. If you could. Side what the Constitution the rules of the society would be. Without knowing where your chips are going to fall did what you agreed upon reasonably would be a just society. So there’s a case where anybody can actually help the decision making in German. What fairness can be. I guess my question is why does that go so arrive from what we’ve seen in modern age. Sometimes groups of people acting in the one of the sle can be really great. Sometimes it can be really awful. I think part of the problem is that Rawls proposes an area in which you know you’re going to be part of this society but you don’t know where you’re going to fall in the socioeconomic hierarchy you want everybody to have a fairly similar sort of set up that way no matter where you felt your interests will be served. However once you know some information about them if I send out the same scenario well that instead of not knowing where you’re going to fall I’ll tell you you’re definitely going to be in the top half people right. All the sudden your decision making system changes. Bollocks since there is at least in terms of energy. No great unifier as to how all people should be treated. Instead there’s only how you never been and should be treated. We still make decisions based on which we find ourselves and then the difference would be there’s no loopback. The people being honest aren’t suffering the consequences of their own behavior they’re externalizing certainly and I think this kind of ties and the concept of her mentality for bad or for good you can do a lot of good things as a large group of people and the praise goes to everyone you know everybody gets an equal amount of praise but it doesn’t really work the other way around where if they do something bad as a group. There’s going to be scoring but chances are the individual members of that group are going to be like well I wasn’t that bad so I’m maybe not deserving of as much scorn everybody’s going to lift up the highs and diminish the lows in this case where a group of anonymous peoples on the Internet may do something really kind of turkey and a lot of them feel that they are particularly at fault for it. They were just following what the rest of the group was doing. Well whether we agree that in general the enemy of the Internet has all and more bad things or more good things. One thing that seems clear about we all like anonymity and we don’t personally I don’t want other people to be anonymous. Well we certainly want our own hand. Sure it’s attractive. It’s seductive in some sense. Some Why if we don’t want to use it to do bad things we like disassociating from ourselves which is I think to that end there’s a certain freedom you don’t have to take your baggage with you so you don’t have to worry about even that if you’re not doing bad things if you’re doing good things. You don’t have to worry about the external outcome of that. For me it’s the same reason that I like for us to chase you down. You’re known can claim appeal to authority. No one needs them selves too much because of how others might rip on their true life. Wherever the idea may take he was where it’s going to take you and there’s no restriction but that and I like that purity good fellows and some people like to see more casual than they’re allowed to be in their room and their speech and so forth I think the real problems with me is not so much individual behavior. That herd mentality when someone goes for something in the ten thousand people decided to pile on the same thing at the same time it would have been better to just a few of them but for whatever it may be and create huge problems. What I think is interesting about the way that we interact a notion that you know over and over again in a lot of different circumstances. Most of it with people like this that human beings desire in some way shape or form within it in a very specific set of circumstances under which it used. If I say I could give you the power supply people immediately think of a set of centuries in which they would want to fly. If I say I can give you the power to teleport around you can imagine a certain areas in which you want strength super speed all sorts of things like that any kind of ability to perceive there we immediately imagine a set of circumstances under which it forms that we would want to use it and it is different because we have mention immediately well if I were someone who wanted to do things that others wouldn’t approve of I didn’t want to be anonymous in that circumstance I would want to have the ability to shield myself from social consequence but it also works in the other direction. We see this over and over again in fairy tales where a prince or it came the worse of a higher being does count themselves as one of the RAM as somebody who can’t be discerned for who they are so they can engage in a different way to do things that are free from social confluence. But in order to do things the burden of their social standing with the mysteries of angels who come dressed as partners today to see if people are honest. You see stories about princes who come to the streets dressed as partners so that they can find true love from people who aren’t concerned with their money. We see stories about wise men who come into town dressed in rags so that they can find out who will do. What was their vision without their presence. We see over and over again the story of being freed from social consequence as an important human milestone. He was doing all kinds of waves not because we all wanted for one thing because we all want it for something and all of these examples you citing it seems to me usually what the people who do this are trying to get some sort of true that the way that we treat others socially is consuming something from the behavior that we take when we imagine we are in ones US stance is different from the others. That’s a good thing. It’s good that I don’t act in the same way when I’m hanging out with my parents that I want to act when I’m at a strip club with my friends. Right. It’s good that I don’t act in front of a judge the same way that I act. Wait and I didn’t learn better about myself. Those things are different social circumstances I mean to behave differently here. But that’s also a restart that’s also confined to feel that you have to act in certain ways under certain circumstances and to go back to work saying I think this offers a kind of freedom that we all as Google is a freedom that contains a truth of my identity more than the shell of social circumstances around ourselves that I think is worth bringing up at this point. Well Internet evidently used thing in many ways it is kind of illusory it doesn’t really exist we still access the internet from computers that have dedicated addresses and stuff like that and yet we see a lot of people who think it exists who who have this sort of faith or their anonymity hides them from from consequence. Well and love that title. What you mean by that. If you mean I am not immediately passable in the same way my face talking to your faces than I do have a kind is. You mean total anonymity where I cannot be found out I am in the sea weed and invisible and there are many layers protecting me from ever being found out and no court process is what it amounts to is there is a finite amount of time and trouble and knowledge it would take to find out who you are whatever that whatever that amount might be and it can be more or less going to be more or less worth the most trouble to try and I think actually it’s on the greatest anonymity that we can have on the anonymity of being one in such a great mess. Nobody actually cares who you are at work and lots of data processing market research stuff I’ve done lots of operations on files containing tens of thousands of people’s names and Social Security numbers. I didn’t care about any single one of them. I think one of the greatest thing that ever heard about this is that if a market research company has your own gender and month of birth I believe result in person and narrow you down to a given name and Social Security number if given the amount of data of a valve there and the ability to parse it. Yet the problem with that of course is that they don’t care they don’t want to know your name social security number they already have all the information is that if you are a male or female in this age range living in this area going beyond that would actually be a waste of resources for their purpose. Trying to find a needle in a needle stack. On the one hand you found the needle there it is on the other hand the needle stack. I think that kind of comes down to the sort of mutual respect for lack of a better term. That unless people on the Internet have for the end of the Internet the well I’m going to be anonymous and I might as well let other people be anonymous Also I don’t want to bother with having to do all the work to find out who these people are. It isn’t of consequence to me to be willing to do this. Well and does national calculus I found very helpful in my do they why there is two levels and when one extends the other you will be found out on one of the men a trouble that would be for you to be found out and level two was the amount of interest you generated in someone’s mind. I use this calculus when it comes to my car. If I don’t want my heart to be broken into either my car I have to be champion of and not have anything of value in it that even though it’s not very hard to break into and nobody wants to bother or if I have a valuable car with a lot of stuff on it I have to mention I have very high difficulty Very good I’ll never achieve impenetrable security and I will never achieve impenetrable anonymity. But in one side coordinating bombings across countries and involved in fairly various actions I’m probably not worth finding out who I am and most people here are lacking respect at the very least I’m too much trouble. Makes me wonder is being blamed being beneath everyone’s notice. My point started becoming work some point in the future be an asset and certainly I mean nobody can really fault him for just listening. There’s If you’re not on interactive in any sense other than observing. If you don’t create ways you don’t create the motive for someone to try to find you out or try and interact with you. So the ultimate is no and there were the years of course the lurker. Even the name reflects that right when we think of something lurking. Imagine someone in the shadows someone off to the side not someone standing in the middle of the Rings and I am the finest of all examples. Instead someone quiet who stays out of the way not contributing anything to the conversation or just reading in both pseudonymous and unless there is if you start to act or start to talk. Publish What have you without being there for a long time. Often times the response you’ll get or if you act ignorant in that space of that space the response you will get is more. You know obviously don’t know what’s going on here or what we’re about. So step back and listen. Pseudonymity that’s I think something really interesting about that. And I like to see more of it. It’s one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about the Internet is because it is the most we’ve ever had to have to claim the right to tell our own stories to tell people and show people who we are intentionally and to the best of our ability. More so than real life where we make blunders and there are things going to control that people judge us on identity that you create and try to build a reputation around. That’s this is really I think in the purest way us telling or showing the creating who you are. That’s true to some degree. What hide their identity on the Internet. And soon after that we make former selves. Do I want to appear in the Vela while I am in fact actually being a good guy. Do I want to say mean things to people but have points and the site end up sort of a joke or what I choose to make that persona into is an extension of who I am in some way shape or form the same as a writer can write a story in which a villain does something terrible that they don’t. Themselves it’s terrible if you use your main name identity to try and make you know the best high minded arguments you can to try to get a reputation doesn’t lie or you may try to be that someone who throws in the funny quips into the middle of a conversation. Whatever you can do to try to get it. Generally I think most of us naturally wants approbation. One positive feedback. There are course the trolls were intentionally going or does that provision for whatever reason. Well and I think that on some level that comes down to whether or not you are essentially more of an infinitely more of an extrovert on some level for some people it might be the greatest opportunity ever to gather secrets to listen to other people’s stories and not to be removed from that process in a way that they can’t in a person conversation. I can’t sit there and gather all the things you say as a human being standing in the room that you’ve been noticing them standing and I can’t enter I didn’t follow around someone I can cyber stark someone I can gather information or learn about someone else’s point of his or her a great many of those points of view and even possibly find things to try and hurt the world a way to gain power without being recognized in the same way. Certainly and it’s kind of interesting because there are other Web sites like Tumblr where you can ask each other questions like this one the T.V. is of Tumblr is a Web site is you can go to some of these pages if you want to ask them something even personal or work related to what they like or about like you said an artist after work you can ask it and there are two options you can either ask with your name your account like it’ll show your name it’ll have a link to your account. This question or comment or what have you will be. It included it was tied directly back to you or there is a box you can press to be anonymous that moves all four of the folks that you don’t want to not be associated with the question for whatever reason either they feel it’s unfair or sing or there are signs that something may be spiteful or unpopular war they feel they don’t want a direct connection to this person they don’t want to directly address this personally want to drop a question in the proverbial mailbox and maybe have the answer or respond to it in some way but they don’t feel like either they’re worthy or that they are appropriate to be connected to this person. It’s an interesting dynamic that the tumbler and two people the incentive to try to draw each other out by asking each other questions that are just telling each person put in what you think that there’s an interesting dynamic to get the people to help to try and draw each other out to generating we’re going to help but want to vanity Facebook thing. Whenever an instant Google is trying to go more that way to your actual real world identity being online and what it means I’m not really sure why these sites want to do that. That’s going to be the central basic you know the rich person the most important one that you have is the one that has your real name on it. Well with the rise of Facebook as Facebook has become more and more popular and the web of people that you’re connected to becomes more more important right. You see people guarding that identity in careful not saying terrible things because you’re connected to your real world friends and the people who didn’t know you have cited names and have social consequence or be. It’s hard to establish a fake identity and farms. It’s very easy to fake count but the fake account isn’t enough by itself. Webs of friends connections to places things that happened. Showing up at events checking in in places adding photos of the papers and all the generated totality that’s difficult to play and so it has a certain value to an external Web site to have a long interface or a long into Google in which case you are using that to pay for simplicity right. I ain’t paying you for the simplicity of modern create a whole new user on your Web site by linking it to this other account and in return I am signing up for a certain amount of social consequence. If I use it if I use that primarily to separate vision although there are legal consequences there could be arrested for this on Facebook and confess to crimes or it will cost jobs. I can’t remember where it was in fact that one’s own Florida again but it did in least one state is now we will serve the worst arguments be a Facebook if you have tried all other means you cannot reach person or I mean that that definitely points to that totality reflective self as it were of the total souls or the clothes that you’re going to get to a real self on the Internet if this account the state has this account. Close enough to you as a person that they feel that it’s going to stand in legal documents at least you know that actually had a run in with needing to verify your right and for some reason Facebook Google plus have told me my name’s not free. The problem I have. There are thirty five different spellings of the name genitals on Facebook and yet somehow Mine’s not real if you don’t want to make a counter to respond. I feel like the primary student in the whatever you tend to use the most as a pseudonym and the the things that you say under that I think that is actually a true reflection of who you are then your real name account with pictures and and all of the real life information if you will says more about who you really are. When when you’re free to say whatever you want but you’re also trying to create a reputation for someone from scratch I think there is a more true you inside you than the circumstances of your life which is what ends up all over this book in Google plus I mean there’s certainly something to be said there but with a completely separate sit in them even if it’s your main it is artificial in some sense you can construct the user that you want people to see. Well it will reflect on you in some sense it isn’t necessarily who you are. I don’t I feel the opposite of this is kind of true or not the opposite. I feel that there’s there’s an other side of the coin as it were to this with regards to the actual person and the actual you of Facebook and stuff like that. And in some ways I think this would support your argument Bruce where are people who are or who go by different names or people who are friends who don’t go by their given name or haven’t gone through the legal steps to change their given name as their identity changes have been running and a lot of problems with the well you’re supposed to use your real Your real. Well what is a real name is the name the top your birth certificate it is the name the courts call you by his name or your friends call you by because it’s the last one. Then Facebook shouldn’t be coming down on people with well you don’t have or this isn’t your real name when that’s the most closely identified with self. Yeah I really do think that who you choose to be is a better reflection of who you are and who your circumstances and what your circumstances tell you who you are what one thing keeps me from deciding to be someone carrying no student loan debt. Yes and there are also of social value to me having to live with the consequences of what’s gone on before. Obviously against rebels talking about trans people we want to allow for people to have room to change and grow and these people changed in very distinct ways something very realistically want to change how they are for to out in the world. Another reason someone might want to be referred to differently is to escape their past and why it actually was any tangible consequence circumstances of your life. I’m not saying that those should be eliminated. I’m just saying that those shouldn’t be who you are and try to do bigger quirks and family they still apply to you and you still have to deal with them but I guess some of divorced from your identity in the N.T. should more be more about how you communicate how you present yourself what you put out other people choose to word things with which to do the circumstances of your life are there but I still feel that the choices you make and how you present your says much more about who you are than the circumstances of your life that fit the circumstances of your life don’t still exist but you know a great example where that divergence of who you are the circumstances of your life is trans people and making that. And getting people to go and get on board with it to the difference between circumstances of your life being part of your current I don’t know your part of your history they could call you and your history will check if they need to personally who purpose other than that they don’t need to be what you put out there. That’s certainly fair and I don’t see this somewhat to you but it’s a bit of a hairy subject to put it that way. Just the whole pseudonymity vs who you present versus who you are as to how we’re going to say that there. So I guess the question at this point is why have anybody why continue to have an especially in the case of this push for more real identity on the Internet more physical or real you and less suited and you know as it stands just because we CAN I don’t think anybody ever really planned to make everybody communicate anonymously with each other I think it’s just a byproduct of other units developed phone where they could go back into my internet history file as it were and talk about the fact that the creator of four chan created fortune was better than anybody in mind especially after he had been booted off the Something Awful forums for multiple of fractions and stuff like that but it is something that’s kind of come and went as it were almost naturally leads into the positives and the negatives of them in this conversation at least some of them. I imagine that there are probably as many as anyone to tend to. But let me propose a reason to have something I think again links back to this idea of freedom and I’m going to start by outlining something that some of. Our listeners may not even remember a time before the Internet a time before the world wide web of interconnected everything runs on the Internet. When I die I will be. Yes it is for that day back in the old days when you had to specifically access a message board or some committee people via computer in a different way than you do now when you didn’t have everything flows from one end of that. What was beautiful about that was the society they created. Yes bad things happened. Yes people swap files. Yes people puzzles people how to make bombs. All of the bad things about the Internet were already barren but it became a kind of autonomous people an outlet for the need to have that in their lives. And we’ve seen this over and over again in societies that there are tons of black market underground drinking clubs during prohibition somewhere where the walls are broken not because breaking the rules is good for us because it is important to us to occasionally went off the steam of living in a society that we can control in some sense the older Internet the Internet that was before the end of the Internet that is at the dawn of the web page is not one of us. So for people living in societies that are ever more controlling myself that our ability to go on and be jerks the terrible results of all the other horrible things we are is actually a pressure valve for all the crap that could come out in our day to day lives. This is a way for us to get away with all of those things in the least terrible possible consequential time ago saying before it’s not that half the pocket would go up with solutions are always all powerful people is that we’re all occasionally awful people. The trolls we have met the trolls and they are us. I definitely can see it as a form of because Tarsus just kind of letting everything go. Like you say a place where one can act regardless of social consequence and not have to worry about it too. I was one of the social norms in some cases you know this this can be expressed as always and I think there are ways that is expressed nowadays I mean we’ve definitely seen other ton of The Stones come about four chan is for the best example of in some ways rather older that has gotten their feet put to the fire a couple of times in regards to certain things. Both sides and we still see ones like Tor and I want to say I do us and other large World Wide Web based internet protocols that have kind of come about or have been around but the new implementation in recent years. Usenet in particular has developed a huge culture. Absolutely alt dot of Usenet one of the nine main quote unquote Usenet categories Altaf is probably one of the best post previous to examples that autonomy and constant migration of that. I mean if one of them dies another one’s going to grow. It’s always seems to be shifting from one place to another does require not before there is no true in ANY it is merely a question of how much trouble is only to go to to find out who you are but it can be a lot and it can always be changing and you can always just throw that identity overboard and start up a new one. Bruce silence Sean. I grant you the last word. Well thanks professor. So I’d like to take this opportunity to run down one theory of my own about the way that pseudonymity end. Then the Internet work. I like this. Are we all assholes online. And the answer might surprise you. Imagine for a moment that we are examining a person called Mr X. Mr X. has a tendency to go online. He uses the pseudonym Mr greater than less that for his online participation. While he’s online he acts like the worst racist terrible mean spirited cruel jerk ever. And over the course of that process developed quite the reputation online for being that way in his day to day life. Mr X. is completely reasonable. He’s a kind person and he helps old ladies cross sidewalk whatever you can think of that makes someone not a bad person is what he does in his day to day want. The question becomes Is Mr greater than less than actually different from Mr X. in some sense. Mr X. minus social conformity norms and other consequences is Mr greater than less than. But are those really something you can remove without changing the essential nature of a human personality. I’d say no they’re not. As a matter of fact we have a little bit of a jackal and Hyde situation on our hands. One of them act out the best parts of this nature while the other one gets to feed dark desires blinders. If we imagine this we might ask why. Why does he want to do these terrible things when he’s in those circumstances. The reason is because Mr X. has no reason to do them in a day to day life but in his anonymous life in his life elsewhere Mr X. has no reason not to do when he is lacking in those social circumstances. Mr X. is given the freedom to act in term ways without consequence consequence keeps Mr X. and wondering if day to day life not because he is a terrible racist or a cruel spirited person but because quieting this. As he has no reason not to do the easiest thing. As I stated earlier we have very engine example of this in the ring of gaieties but we actually have a more visceral modern example. That’s something I like to call a little room of guy G.’s as a matter of fact it’s the men’s room in the men’s bathroom is a perfect example of what happens when we remove social consequences from a group of people they act like the worst immoral shit available to them. They smear racist things and coop on the walls they can in the corners that carve things in they tell terrible jokes all because they have no reason not to. There’s no payment value things the truth that none of us want to imagine it is that on some level being bad feels good. So if we have an example do we have a counter example. We do the women’s restroom. Women’s restroom is rarely kept in this kind of condition. You’ll find some of them a little bit abused and treated badly. But for the most part you will find a far less visceral level of disgust at any person working at their reason. Simple men are taught but they are alone when they are in the bathroom. Women are taught that they are in groups that they are part of a social contract that they have certain responsibilities. People will watch people will see if you know what you actually do your business but they’ll certainly know who came out of the room. Men on the other hand look away don’t acknowledge each other’s presence. We are not part of a social group when we are in the bathroom that allows us to act in a truly deplorable ways. If you still lack the confidence that this is in fact an underlying phenomenon look back at all of the terrible things that people have been able to do when they had no reason to fear the consequences. We see this in things like in what has now been called much to my chagrin affluenza. When people have too much money and do terrible. Things because they don’t feel a sense of connection to right and wrong. Why. Because the money removes social consequence over and over. We see the people minus social consequence equal problems. What we are seeing a greater Internet one theory writ large across a society we see is that when we give people the opportunity to receive any kind of benefit and no repercussions from writing badly they will act badly. Does this mean the essential nature of human beings attack they have no essential nature of human beings is to be in social circumstance. We all live with a certain level of social consequence dumped into the way that we’re supposed to act. When you remove us from that all of a sudden there are problems. Our brains are not able to process that we can act in the ways that we think we would want to because we have not been trained for the circumstance. So when we come down to the eventuality Yes Mr greater than less than different from Mr X. He is the Mr Hyde the Dr Jekyll of Mr X. He is in fact another person a person who exists only in those circumstances and that person is in fact an asshole. So when you come to the question are we all assholes on the Internet. The answer writ large is yes but we’re also not ourselves. Well that’s all the time we have for today. Don’t forget subscribe interview on i Tunes follow us on Twitter send us your questions and if you like what we’re doing here so Faurisson Patria I’ve been your host at the chain gang. I’m Bruce Kevin Carter. I told her wonderful recently and I’ve been having Dr underscore Potato Head was not right. Oh that was nice. It’s there. No.

Ep 18: Time Travel and Paradox; Do Our Future Selves Owe Us Anything?

Welcome one and all to Professor battles over a defeat and calamitous commentary. The philosophical chain game today’s episode identity in the four A one K. Well I’m your host Professor medal. I’m Sean. I’m Bruce Gordon River. And you know what we finally got a colon. But there are back X.. So that was saying I’m cone shenanigans. Well I guess today’s episode will be time travel and paradox to your future selves. I’m your host professor of Middle School shown. I’m Bruce Sure. OK. Time travel or brain is at it you fool. What if you will have done. Welcome one and all to Professor metals irate and calamitous commentary with the philosophical chain getting today’s episode identity in the four A one K.. I’m your host Professor model I’m Sean when Bruce i River and then guess what. We got a call and finally really. Yeah somebody actually called us and left a message. Let’s hear it. So that was the thing I’m going to mannequins you fool. What move you will have done. I’m claiming no responsibility for anything that goes well then to day’s episode will be a time traveler and a paradox you our future selves. Anything I am your host Professor metal and still Sean and Bruce still River I think. So paradox isn’t Andrea making my head hurt a little bit. There are many theories of time travel but certainly a living wage. Popular Culture train tries to interpret time travel. It’s a fixed the method of time travel with important time travels really the consequences I mean yes from a theoretical because it’s fun to think about how it might be accomplished. You don’t want to think of how whatever means magic whatever. What would it mean. Sure and a lot of the eries around time travel have to do with ways of correcting for paradoxes right problems like the famous grandfather paradox in which you go back and kill your grandfather before your father has been born and thus there is no father for you to have to have gone back and children are grown. We didn’t do that so you did do it so you didn’t do it for you to do it and. Always but the league gets around this I think one of the most recent notable examples of of correcting the grandfather paradox as it were would be Futurama where fright goes back and spoiler alert become since grandfather sort of which creates a separate type of sort of a paradox which is something that exists only because it exists within the time loop in these are called some propagating solutions to the problem. If I have a solid gold potato riser that I find in Bury in a hole in my backyard and I then decide to go back in time and bury it in my yard so that I can find it later. Where from does the professional riser come and usually it has no cause it just pure effect. Back to future deals with cults ality which is if you change something about the Taiwan in any significant or what ends up being significant although it may be somewhat minor. Way crash really alter the way things play out. So the length of your series has a very specific view on how time handles these things and that is branching timelines. If you change something in a past time that something will significant to nothing that we see that some of the sense can be changed because they are not significant enough to create a whole derivation but we see Marty creating a situation wherein best becomes rich and powerful and creates a whole new future event that an entirely different timeline from the events that went on in his life. When I think back to the future to handle that a little bit better than the first one the first one had a number of problems one of which is marketed and out of existence. If you wouldn’t have been born to come back at what point does this is a page out of her Why at that particular time. What mechanism is causing that. We don’t know. We know you know the problem of the first movie is that when he finally returned to his to his time his parents are cool they’re successful they’re much more well adjusted than they had been originally but that would suggest that his life had gone differently he wouldn’t probably wouldn’t have been hanging out with the weird old a scientist and he probably wouldn’t have gone back in time at all if he had been raised by more well adjusted parents he would have been more well adjusted and so. So the two mores are so part of what we may be seeing fixed point in time fixed events that cannot be changed. Like meeting dark brown and getting into a time machine which has been centrally become fixed plot points for the writers in order to make it work. Certainly there’s other media that has dealt with the whole concept of a fixed point in time. Dr who is a really great example of the idea that a live event is so monumental is changing it would be so drastically different would have such drastically different outcome that it can’t be helped it can’t be stopped it can not happen as it were. Because if it does bad things happen. Time search for collection Dr Who while I think we should try and Dr Who as seriously as we can I think we also have to have a little bit of a disclaimer that even Dr Who deals with time travel about as seriously as I don’t know we all do a little crazy Brits sets up rules in order to create certain limitations so that there can be conflict and then it breaks this rule. It uses a rule basically as the writers need to tell a good story at the time and it’s a great show and I don’t want the WHO being a community to come out thinking we were bashing on them. I know at least several of us in the room are huge fans and would not want to come up in any way of being down on it but when you talk about a very serious time travel there does have to be a little bit of an asterisk next to the time. He wanted me to be nice. Well actually in Dr Who is about the soft sciences it gets when it comes to time travel it is a contrivance first and foremost and a concept of theorization dead last. But that said it does introduce an instant consequence time for the writers of certainly considered what might have to be involved in the kind of convoluted story they’re telling in order to write some of these ships to help them make sense for continuity. That’s that I think the fixed point in time notion. Much like the Marty fades out of existence a notion I don’t really see in physics mechanism would cause that. I think it is. Contravenes for storytelling grossest I think if it were actually serious about time travel is going to discard that notion as well. Well I think that Marty is fading from existence is actually seeing Marty fading from this timeline that essentially we don’t really get a lot of explanation in the movie that was just sort of happened and everybody knows I love this band because you know a lot of pain but I think that might be a representation of a branching timeline being formed one in which he’s better and one in which he’s not and he’s being violently removed from the timeline to the other one at the point that the timeline came from is no longer possible. That’s one ceases to be. There may be a case to make that I think branching timelines are good way to resolve paradox. However I think when you saw it in time that you go back at the point that you go back you create a bridge. Whether or not you really need gauge yourself from having been able to do so I think you’re still there you just become sort of a refugee from a timeline that never existed because the notion that. This goes back to my martinis and would not have grown up to be the same guy this Marty isn’t the same Marty who will exist even if his parents do get together. Certainly from his direct intervention he is in the exurban changed things but I think for sake of everybody sanity and control of the court too much they kind of have to be the same person at the end of the beginning other than maybe learning a valuable moral lessons about how man takes Well that’s certainly one interpretation of arranging time one’s Another possibility is that the branching timelines of it in some way intertwined with the Many Worlds Interpretation of multi verses and quantum theory. It’s possible the branching timelines as we understand them are just our inability to see all the other possible timelines the going to exist and that at any time we were able to go back. Presupposing we were able to go back that we would make choices understand a new series of these branches created from every decision. It’s not that it’s new it’s not that it wasn’t there in the first place. It’s that we didn’t experience the last time. So now we’re on a different course but that that course has always been part of the total of universes in taking a different journey through the garden work and grounds and I think that is the best way to resolve this was a negative paradox particularly if you say that if someone comes back and prevents the timeline that would have caused him to come back. Now we’ve got this extra person here who comes from a time when that never happened. It’s sort of washed ashore in this one where they never existed maybe they were never even born into just sort of this extraneous person left out that’s the only way you could really result it’s odd then it’s almost sort of a self-perpetuating paradox in that that person had no cause they came from. That was never taken so let’s talk about some of the other methods and the resulting error. Cars that have been used a great length in popular media. One of them self correcting. It’s like somebody doesn’t die when they’re supposed to. The universe starts changing it’s over the toilets are changing and so so I searched for him to kill that person like the Final Destination movies where the time travel isn’t physical but it’s information the sort of premonition prophecy that the character has and that the universe sends the other ninety minutes of the film trying to off the rest of the characters that were supposed to die in the first five minutes you go back in time and kill the young Adolf Hitler before his chance to rise to power. But by some strange coincidence he happens to have a friend and Schmidt learns that rise to power and does all things Hitler would have done it’s just that there’s now a very minute change of some sort. The person who did it or the event that happened in there they’re going to go back to this rescue. This prophecy that is in the Mary’s mother and father he leaves town he goes to the need to travel far away something that will never happen. Little does he know he was adopted. Trying to avoid it makes it happen. We see that all the time but the notion of a self correcting universe that things that have a prophecy that is also time travel there is information coming backwards in time. Sure so the same the same kinds of problems apply and we see the same several media options. We see time you when looking forward like in paycheck. We see time manipulation that allows you to send information back when in frequency there are plenty of ways where maybe people can’t be passed back and forth but maybe other things could be but if we’re going to throw in science fiction you had a Star Trek transporter and people or information. Certainly there are some interesting implications of that when you start crossing into stuff like that. I’m not sure. Any era could possibly account for all of the possible variables but I think until we’re not entirely on board with it but there’s a certain thing I like about the notion of a self correcting universe in my problem with the quantum branching in many worlds interpretation of quantum physics is that given all of the particles in the universe any of which could zigzag any number of ways in any given moment. So for every single particle in the universe let’s say it’s got one hundred different things it could do in the next millisecond. Take that hundred to the power of the number of particles in the universe and that’s how many universes are being created every millisecond. There is a huge conservation of energy problem considering how badly and rapidly all these universes of being created. So it’s branching timelines to be somehow woven back together. This one ends up being the same as that one so they’re the same one. If those forking paths could rejoin down the road then it doesn’t have to expand out so far and so greatly. We have sort of a constant star constantly size made universe if we break the branches back together. Well in that kind of gets into some philosophical concepts that we didn’t really talk much about till this point which is determinism soft and hard determinism which act similar to what the concept of destiny would be but not quite. More needed to do something which hard journalism dictates in philosophy dictates everything that is going to happen and has happened will happen in that exact way we just don’t have knowledge of what is going to happen it just will happen is that way. There is no change in it whatsoever. Whereas soft interment ism is the broader strokes is it. We’re it. These bigger things everything kind of reaches the same end goal but it can happen in any different in many different ways than a lot of problems people seem to have with this is special of hard determinism is the notion that brings about that there is no real free will because if everything is going to happen in a specific way and there’s no changing it we don’t have to move all it’s just going to happen. So what you’re describing as I use the terms is what I would think as opposed to Zapatero as pain was I’M is there are a series of events small and large will lead up to some of them that is going to happen one way or another such as in the year twenty seventy three mankind to discover is called fusion. How we got there or which choices about whether to go to Starbucks or another coffee place whether I have dark beer pilsner which color pants I wore on any given day or even up to the level of whether or not I decide to have children whether or not I ran for Congress. These kinds of decisions are still free but there are some of us that are fixed no matter what else I try and talk to journalism as I understand it anyway. I put a gun to your head and I say you can’t leave our arrival future in that you think a decision is to have choice but the choice you have is limited by whether or not you would likely want to die. The chance that you will die over not eating a candy bar very slow and so I increase the odds to the point where you almost didn’t know which one you want to make the heart of Germans and a problem with it is from an epistemological point of view. If we can’t if we can’t know even in principle whether something is so then what opposition to rationally assert that was so and we can’t really know in Peru. Well whether subatomic or quantum things are always going to go the same way but then again our determinism isn’t exactly relevant either into some question and some fairness in what you’re saying and I think we could have a much longer discussion about that. For now let’s try and stick with time travel and move on. That’s for other ways to time travel paradox. Well they can see in some time travel media is the whole destiny aspect like the characters going back and doing things and coming back to their own timeline everything’s the same. Despite this whole looming question of what have what will we have radically changed only to find out they were kind of supposed to do in the first place. Like that but that is I mean sort of fatalism that is and I want to say Babylon five does there’s a couple points where there’s time travel but it was meant to happen that way you find out after the part. So perpetuating version using actions with each other. One thing I think was worth bringing up is the art use thing you’ve got to be extremely careful if you step on a butterfly it can change everything vastly and it would be worse so don’t do that. Then I don’t necessarily think that that’s a better thing is it’s all a set out of it. Maybe stepping on a butterfly could have made things vastly better than I could’ve imagined. Well I think that’s the part of the people concerned about in these situations is the not knowing whether to link things better for the way things worse or everything will just kind of shift sideways a little bit. But and that’s the position we’re in right now. Any change I make right now could lead to a future that is vastly better vastly worse for all. Right but the difference isn’t even a baseline. They have a baseline right. They’re very slimy and this is how things have been up till now and we’re still here we’re still live. We have a culture we develop time travel we have signed those things are for a lack of any specific definition of what could have been pretty good and so you are gambling with a known quantity. If you go back in time stuff on the butterfly. Yes things could be better but they could also be worse. And why take the chance when you’ve already got it pretty good compared to the ME and ME in the here and now not knowing the future the only significant difference is that the ME has gone back to back into the past knowing a certain future has more information than I do now. There were changes in the mix and actions that he does are more likely to be beneficial actions he intentionally takes are more likely to be beneficial if we assume you are smart enough to have calculated out exactly how things go. There will certainly be intended to be better most likely unless you’re mad geniuses decided to go back into their ships two hundred years or older people now you know I’m just I’m talking right now probably a very good idea. It’s true that things could be worse but having more information means that chances are probably better killing Hitler at some point you know is likely to prevent a whole lot of horrific stuff. Although it might not so I don’t this is a bit pedantic but I honestly dislike the whole going back until we had were as the first thing a time traveler would do. But problem is it was killing Hitler. Yes it would feel good for the person who did it and it would potentially inexorably change the timeline. But problem is it wasn’t just Hitler that was the evil bastard it was everyone down the chain of command. You would have to kill an awful lot of Germans to turn to actually. In the exurban Lee changed things so that the Second World War didn’t happen and that was cloned. That’s because I could tell that you there weren’t permission or not having any. Well to that point I like to bring it back to the idea of there are certain things that even if you went back and tried to change them that those things would have to happen in one way or another and specifically those events that perhaps another variation of this is that there are some of us that have to happen but they can be changed a little bit they can be aesthetically different as long as the impact of the same and supporters I would want to point to probably the greatest time travel movie of our generation which is of course Hot Tub Time Machine in which the people going back to do get to affect things of the things they are fact are only capable of making so much of a rebel. One of the main character stays in the back as stated back in time so that he can create a search engine of some notoriety along a certain lines of a search engine we are all familiar with called Google except in his version of the reality that has come about from his being back in time now called Lugo which is the same function but has a difference that it and somebody else is the rich bastard for having And and as such he’s allowed to make changes but only small changes of the don’t impact the actual situation which kind of makes sense because Google didn’t become popular because of its name being popular because a lot of very complicated mathematical work that the founders the Masters I think the age he’s in there and that was that was what drove it made it good. Certainly then we we sort of have the other side of the cooling was that we can’t get out of this thing though let’s just treat the timeline Bleecker own person. No policing and that is of course probably one of the better movies of last generation. Concerning time travel. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bill and Ted’s bogus journey. You literally are not allowed to discuss time travel though and getting up at least once I’m pretty sure there’s some sort of international document certified by George you know it’s just our destiny but this is a movie that definitely wasn’t afraid to play fast and loose with the timestream. I mean there’s one point where they didn’t really want convenience themselves out of a jail so by leaving a key under a rock. Later the the scene takes place like that. It’s only oh why don’t I just go back later and leave that here this rock. So I do things in the future. You know assuming they do their follow through wish which is interesting because at the very beginning go into it aren’t really known for completing projects they start and they become very good at it. Also Dr who is an aggressor does the same thing to get out of a jail cell decide to do something later. And then you have it. So don’t actually for being such a goofy time travel movie actually does get a lot of its key points in order to keep themselves moving forward. And in that case I’m specifically talking about that jail cell thing. I’m thinking of the moment when they have to explain that only the victors of this current fight will be able to go back in time and put things around for themselves because the other guy will last and thus will not be able to time travel and thus creates an opportunity for them to actually deal very seriously with the problems of causality in this way in a very light hearted and silly venue. Oh absolutely. Another during this and apropos of nothing one of the ways of seeing some shows try to avoid too much potential paradox is the notion that you can never meet yourself the old you can never see the new you. They’re very vague as to why because usually you know just to be avoided but just barely. Potter prisoner of ask them time turner was the greatest sneak around. Sort of. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern ing their own history in the in the wings messing things about in order that things right. Yeah this is a very common plot device in time travel that’s sprinkled in but is not the main focus of a movie or book or whatever because it’s clearly a plot contravenes that way. So a lot of times if something is all about time travel if you’re talking about a movie or or a comic even that has time travel wasn’t central promise. I generally avoid these problems pretty early on by either laying out a very stipulated set of rules for Tundra or by creating a time travel that doesn’t have these problems for some other reason and when you sprinkle time travel into another kind of story then you have to do sort of deal with I haven’t thought of a whole backstory of time travel. Instead I have to kind of give you some hard and fast. Don’t do this and and that’s a pretty easy one to understand why it would be problem. All in the funny thing is it’s kind of written science if you are in the same time period as a former you you have only increased the total mass of the universe assuming the universe is a closed system. And there’s the problem of mass occupying the same space and that’s kind of where that derives from this you shouldn’t interact with yourself because it’s the same mass occupying relatively the same space. And that stuff could potentially happen. Nothing specific standing next to you as well but that also doesn’t make sense or gets me going back to talk to me. Right four year old me is not the same but I am I shedding cells all the time and shedding cells will cause my body to be a different set of things so I can interact with the same set of things in the same way that say I don’t know two watches from different time periods. It’s entirely fair it’s just that’s the way I’ve seen interest before and unfortunately does fall down kind of under its own weight because human beings are constantly rebar regenerating themselves over time whether it’s something interesting to think about it nothing else. Well I have another instance of pop culture use of this not about people but about objects is the reason why fashion twelve Monkeys twelve Monkeys deals with this particular problem by having a watch that goes back in time and the guy is holding the watch and there’s a woman and she’s wearing the earlier version of the watch and he scratches the face of the watch and sort of a universal energy of some sort. Creates a scratch along the face of the watch he’s holding out for visual effect at some point later the actual touch that you watch together creating a paradox and a huge outpouring of energies created by us. Basically what that gets us to is time travel would by its very nature violate this notion we have of the conservation of mass or energy and so whatever mechanism we believe is in place to prevent that would either prevent time travel or would be superseded by this other effect on the conservation of mass or energy applies not to a specific universe or rather the specific path through the branching in. But it’s a little more or potentially that out of the universe or multiverse if of many worlds interpretation is to be believed is not a closed system. Well and I think that is the inherent violation time right is that it’s not a closed system. If things came back in time if things can’t go back in time that is of course right. So as for the multiverse problem another possible solution to the conservation of energy in that level is some decisions will destroy universes and some decisions will creep. So there may be an equal number of destructions and creations happening simultaneously allowing for sort of you know a whole load of bubbles in which one deflates and the energy goes into making a new one somewhere in this is where something like fatalism could come in and collapsing the bridging timelines back into the same universe is something that sort of a gravity pulling pulling the expanding many worlds back together to try and keep the number of them relatively constant. Certainly possible I mean I think there’s speculation of absolutely you could say anything more solid then sure why not. I think time travel would be the only critical test for the many worlds interpretation it remains in principle undecidable unless we could go back a branch and follow a different one. There might be other possible ways that one could enter a different time space dimension of all that would not necessarily involve going back to our own history. It will go to a different history really going to a different future or different now I could end up in a world where somehow all blue jays or green fields to do Star Trek the Roman Empire is still around. Out in their televising letter to worry about. Sure we think many world seriously all possibilities are happening so yes we want the capital letters. Yes Actually thinking about this a little bit brings up a question I hear a fair bit in speculation controlled media is if time travel really could exist. Why have we not seen any time travellers yet wellness into another good reason for the you can’t talk to interact with yourself right so that we have an explanation for why news has now. Because people may say the first thing they do is go back and fill in the world. First thing I would do is go back and tell myself how to get rich. Yes I would immediately try and take care of myself. It was them who were on the list maybe you know and you know I don’t have to kill him you can just go back and give in or go to the list may look like you know go back and tell myself not to eat him sandwiches laced and you’ll end up in an enormous stop talking right about now. That’s one of the fiddlers and things you haven’t gotten any worse. Maybe it’s one of those things like time travel and by extent Time Travelers are her kind of beholden to the most bad ass nondisclosure agreement of all time. If you screw up if you tell anyone if you make yourself known as a time traveler you’ll get erased. Well that would require some kind of organization to enforce that like time cards. Well that would be universal role but a lot of media definitely asteroids and you see it’s not specifically tendre movie but when you talk about the one gently action flick in which he goes around killing his other selves in order to gain power and then another self of him. Decides that’s no good and start fights. Against him. And there is a interdimensional police agency to prevent people from doing this this is a really common travel in time travel that there is some sort of other time zone dimension. Whatever group they didn’t run does this because they created the time travel and so they feel responsible for upholding it being done properly. Almost like our history up until the point where time travel gets created as sort of like a nature preserve and there are park rangers preventing people from messing with her for various reasons. Well there really be no such thing as history if you move if you model with too much everything becomes so so perpetuating a paradox. And if we postulate some form of time travel that everyone has access to it becomes a necessary to think that those kinds of time travel as an Australasian most science fiction is very specifically an individual or a small group of individuals have access to it and can do it. The scientists who invented it or they’re the government people who have been sent back to do something specific or some other limiting factor. If we imagine time travel in the way that pinpoint Guardian for example that time tourism becomes sort of the popular thing to do then you have to consider what so many changes even minute changes constant changes to a timeline could do it. But even if there was some organization preventing time travelers from becoming known and there was it was very limited that very few people could get access to it. Assuming that that our future goes on forever all you’re really doing is reducing the number of them who are here or the chances of one of them appearing publicly. And the further the further the future that goes that still approaches one that still approaches one hundred percent of we haven’t publicly known the time traveler before now so I would suggest that our future is finite or that I think we have a more compelling reason not to mention being from another time. Well yes certainly I mean if somebody came up to you on the street said I’m from the future you’d probably look at them and go Yeah sure everybody you know em kind of brush it off or you know I think they’re a little off because I actually don’t live in one of my favorite time travel shows currently running. It’s called Continuum and in that they deal with two really interesting things one being the crazy time travel and the time traveler who is ostensibly just a nut job because they are saying all of these things will happen in the future but you have no reason to believe them and they also don’t want an interesting solution to leave their lives which is what I would call taking up trash. Basically if you have branching timelines maybe the universe can’t support all and once a change is made from one timeline branch to another video or the old timeline that was in existence before that collapses and is destroyed so the twelve monkeys also has the time traveler goes to an insane asylum. And it also has people go in the past to sickly to prevent their more recent history from occurring. They’re trying to destroy the universe as they know it which is somewhat different from our notion of oh be careful about stepping on a butterfly or it change everything. They’re back internationally to change everything because things have gotten so bad that they’re intolerable as if they were trying to play chicken with chaos. They really are something which is where the butterfly effect comes from I think that things couldn’t possibly get any worse than this. Somebody who comes from a post-apocalyptic or just just to be and sort of future like yeah no I don’t care what happens. It has to change. Something has to change. Pappy said is that the right thing to do. It’s been to the future path also does it repeatedly escape the bad guys by going back in time and getting away. We see them die repeatedly. But then they get someone back in time so that they didn’t say but then they decide to go and change the entire history of it that is in question. Other than such massively apocalyptic scenarios where just everything is as it can be actually even in those situations because the people in those aren’t looking those from our point of view to compare to what amount of hubris does it take to say OK I’m going to we’re going to work in this project to send someone back in time to wipe out the last twenty fifty whatever years because things are that bad. Well and one of the reasons I’ve lived by fives series television show and I mention of the Twelve Monkeys story is because it really digs into some of these moral quandary about what right do we have from our perspective of history to go back and erase many many people’s lives who have had children who have fallen in love and have made contributions who have made sacrifices. What right do we have to go back and take away all of those things to correct a situation when you’re not happy with it and whether that situation is people dying in terrible play or I don’t like my latte. There is a question of why should my satisfaction with that circumstance be a catalyst to demystify these people. Should we just try. I do move forward from where we are and find a solution to our problem rather than trying to have never had a problem in the first. One thing to realize that we’re always at the moment no matter what we are always in every single point whether we’ve gone back in time with the we’re sitting here right now at a moment where some bad things have happened in the past. Many things are possible in the future and that injures our actions. I realize that you know these people want to change the past but in any given moment even where they’re out without going back in time travel they’re still changing the future. Ultimately it’s not really doing anything the people who died are already dead to go back. Yes they would have been alive but then you’re killing other people. You’re actually destroying whole universes. I don’t know if in the original twelve monkeys by Terry Gilliam that the show is based off of the way they frame it as least a sort of moral justification to themselves as there is no real other option. This is the sort of last ditch effort. If this doesn’t happen it all ends. The human experiment does not persist and they feel that any consequence of going back and radically changing the timeline is the better option is that there it is the absolute rock bottom where they are right now there is nowhere to go but up next ten Days of Future Past and Terminator also do things where it actually gets to the point before them before someone makes a decision it has to be at the point of human extermination. Is is based on as well and those definitely let you out of the moral or the entire human race were to be extinct because you didn’t do this. It does give you a bit of a free hand in terms of whether or not a right to do this. There’s a certain more others don’t say you don’t have the right to make that decision for someone else but for the most part most of us I think would get on board with well if everyone’s going to die anyway if I don’t do it I might as well done. That’s actually the reason I like other tack from told me to be here is a much better there is a survivor group in the future. Things are out and there might even be the potential for a cure to the plague going forward. But because of our own petty obsessions and self interest we are pushing forward with this other program and I don’t want to spoil too much of the show because it’s very recent and I don’t want to you know you have to demand reasons for someone not to watch what I think is a very good series but it’s definitely more nuanced look at what would happen if that wasn’t good things if we just had to make the decision to apply that to work. Kill Hitler. I definitely think that’s a big one when you want to frame time travel in as a moral question is would it be. Would it be more preferable to roll the cosmic dice and throw caution to the wind to go back and prevent the rise of the Nazi party the entirety of World War two the development of nuclear weapons the Holocaust everything that immediately comes from the rise of Hitler in the knowledge of party versus the so now seventy years of history that has come about since for some people it definitely seem like it would be a better option to throw the cosmic dice but I don’t think it’s as cut and dry as that. Erasing seventy years of history much worse for further back. He’s too big a problem I think. Any one person or even group of people to decide you know essentially touches on a bit of time travel media if you will the airship pirates novels Captain Robert Brown. He talks about going back in time and stopping very strong speech from happening Hitler from coming to power genocide from occurring that sort of thing and ends up creating a future wherein a charismatic leader comes along and nobody stops to think and question whether or not they should let him take over the world. Horrible horrible things have happened in history there’s absolutely no doubt that the Holocaust was horrible horrible horrible thing. We want a lot of lessons from as a society I think it’s been prevented from oh we would have been much more interesting with it for much longer than we have been I mean it was really rampant rise up until World War two and report father McLachlan so much as it was very popular and then all of a sudden that was not cool anymore. The notion of genocide as being a horrible crime didn’t exist before then ovulation worked each other out before then but then at this point I think I think we I think it got bad enough to actually sort of slap humanity in the face into just a couple things. Maybe not all of us have learned it but enough of us have that it that it’s kind of been cemented in this case that there are certain lines that are just wrong I think. I think it’s dangerous to open the door to what it we learn from the very very bad things in history because by that same logic one can argue why stop the very bad things from happening in the future. Well I think we could almost paraphrase given the sort of. Quandary those who do not let history pass as it as it is our duty to cause it to happen in the first place. I mean that’s a little bulkier than the those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. But if Yeah if not one set of events to make us look at the face of our own evil as it were what would what what is the what is that that meant for him to use a term that any loony frequently uses in a game he developed about time travel. Crow not the only way the only way to really morally inoculate ourselves against or is to have experienced it. Which means that such or is inevitable is important we all do then it’s only building up more and more herbs. Silence river. I grant you the last word. OK so today we kind of a few different more recent time travel stories and I think there’s a lot more that do really well to pique the interest about time travel and ask questions about time travel and I don’t want to list some of them for movies I could definitely suggest primer although it’s really really dense and kind of needs a lot of unpacking it’s probably the hardest science fiction time travel film I’ve ever seen. Time car which we kind of touched on. It’s not it’s super soft but it’s the correcting the timeline so bad stuff doesn’t happen in the future. John wrote of time travel as it were there are some great writings on it on time travel on he’s on B. by Robert Heinlein’s a great short story slash novella deals with the self-correcting paradox of course back to the future and Bill intended everybody out there. Players at those I guess as it were involving time travel great anime of all things that actually deals with causality is Stine’s gate which deals with the problem comes out with and branching timelines and the negative effects they can have and certainly some of the positive votes they can have and I would have a little bit. But both versions of twelve monkeys from what I understand are pretty fantastic I can never leave out for the movie the series sounds pretty great. Quantum Leap is a lot of fun and it’s kind of campy and cheesy but it’s a great eighty’s or use that did these sort of make sure events that are supposed to happen. Do you happen sort of time travel and it is ridiculous but it does play with that concept a little bit. The Time Machine I don’t have the original and she was a novella or one of the movie adaptations is one of the more classic examples one of the first examples we see with time travel Slaughterhouse Five by her bonnet it is sort of it is definitely time travel but it’s it’s instead of willfully time traveling it’s being moved back and forth over most against your will and the way the character deals with that is kind of interesting how hands Crosstime Saloon is a great series of short stories and that was by sprite Robinson that well doesn’t necessarily deal with time travel specifically it is definitely a key mechanic in the sort of universe and deals with some of the more cultural and moral implications of it. The second story is about a sort of time traveler that most people wouldn’t think of it in that way but definitely experiences a lot of the problems time travelers do some of the works. OK Dick Minority Report. Try to stop crimes before they happen. Presidents sort of deal paycheck. Probably not a great example but an example of the US is in the name of a king or is a somewhat infamous Bowl film based off of the Dungeon Siege. But it definitely deals with some sort of time travel. I think sort of but I mean these and there’s a lot more of the interim of the event people are talking of with great new ideas and new concepts involving time travel and new ways to think about it. New questions ask all the time and I definitely suggest as a sort of super genre checking it out you know reading more into it as it were. Oh physics of the impossible by which you’re talking is also deals with this in a more scientific way. How dare you how dare you recommend books by that man Dr Who’s your cock who is my arch nemesis and I will have none of you plucking these materials. Well that’s all the time we have for today. Don’t forget to subscribe and review on i Tunes follow us on Twitter send us your questions and if you like what we’re doing here supported some patriotic join us last time after I get everything put back in its proper order. I will have been your host perfessor MO I was shall I be Bruce. I will be there for you guys. I think I figured out time travel. Oh yeah look here. OK So imagine four balls at the edge of a cliff with something. Address the times free time begins to correct itself and one of those balls falls off the edge of the cliff. It was an all clear. No.

Ep 17: Identity and the 401K; #YOLO?

welcome one adult. Professor battles a great debate and calamitous commentary. The philosophical change game today’s episode identity for a one K. hash tag yolo. I’m your host Professor battle. I’m Sean and Bruce and finally got a call really of our call and has finally received a message to the right guy. Oh hell no. Well that was interesting. Yeah. What just happened. Did you just give liquid burns from from your future self Bruce. In this one of the shenanigans so well OK well thrown out of here but didn’t you just give yourself a buzz. Well somebody some version of me from the future is telling me to do something that would benefit him. That exactly the same thing as giving me advice or is he trying to get me to do something that would be good for him. But are you and me aren’t you and him. The same you. I knew this is a little bit complicated. Bruce you will have are going to break into that room. I keep telling you all to stay out. I would never. That’s what’s in the cool. No no that’s what will be in the room and OK good to know it all. So you’ve in the future is not to you from now. Well clearly you want me to do with bunch of stuff but I don’t want to do so if we’re of two opinions on it. How could we be the same person. So conflict is constantly running an internal monologue that I think people have noticed not just because there’s not enough pretty much just you but mine isn’t. OK so in order for as random as the you can from the future is different because he has a different opinion or has a different opinion because he’s a different person. Well I’m just saying that the fact that we have different opinions is evidence that we’re not necessarily the same person. Maybe there are different levels of identity in one sense we could say with the same person and that we’re different points on this thread of the timeline on the other or different points but which you want what he wants because you will eventually you know. Well I will love what he was when I in but I clearly don’t want that now. OK All right. But why wouldn’t you. Because I know the guy’s probably kind of a jerk but you’re you’re banking right is life saving right. You’re not exactly losing money you’re just keeping it for a later date. You’re going to do something with it at a time in the future. So it’s not the same as having I don’t know last fall. Hundred dollars but I guess the question really is do we are worse off for the now or should we live for later. I don’t think that’s a big question that’s being asked today on the whole especially given modern circumstances and what’s been going on in society. Well let’s unpack it in those terms though it seems like in some sense you’ve only lost the opportunity to have done something right. You’re not losing the opportunity to have done something huge or you are losing the ability to have done it in the present. So no sense of presence never changing moment in which takes seriously the notion that the person in the future is different from the person now then isn’t the person now always slipping away into someone who we aren’t anymore. It is possible well I guess there has to be kind of a balance to people who at least do this well I mean we haven’t necessarily established that saving up or doing things for our future self is the best idea but we have seen cases of people who don’t do it at all and their life sort of goes out the rail some point people who do too much and are always chasing something that ahead of them and they never stop to enjoy life. Clearly if there is a way to do it it was somewhere in the middle between those two extremes. This also gets into a basic I don’t know call of Korea fickle because it isn’t so much about right or wrong or morality but it is one of the things that it’s founded on which is the control and there are a lot of came through test that people have done for example when you take a child and you tell him I’ll give you one piece of candy now or if you can sit still for a couple minutes I’ll give you two peas Candy. You’re asking them to do the same thing to put up with not getting any any now in order to get a greater good. Later But that’s I think part of the problems especially when you expand that out. The future’s no real guarantee I mean there’s no guarantee that if you put money away now that that money will be worth anything even ten years much less forty fifty years. So why would we. We live in uncertain times as it were. Well have these a lot of people feel that way. Well that’s a densely classic argument about a guy who goes job in every day and drops dead of a heart attack in the park and gets found by a couple of hours wandering around. Right like this is the idea that if the future is not that I am essentially putting my faith and trust in future events coming to fruition in a way that is valuable to me while I could at any moment dying of some terrible random year strike or car crash or whatever else and bust those investments and sometimes would not come to fruition overwork calculations are to some extent of the risk calculation. However I think we can we can also come up with plenty of examples of people who really do live for the moment and just blow money as soon as it gets in their hands and just pretty much follow every urge they have at the moment they have it without really kind of self-restraint and so there are lots of examples there too. So kind of getting back to the Are you the same you sort of thing. There is actually a basis in biology for that to be false because of the way humans generate new cells in tissue over time I think that harming that understanding is basically there’s a quote unquote new E.U. every seven years there. It’s because of your body has effectively replaced itself over the course of seven years your your liver has generated new souls and all of your muscles and skin and everything and it’s practically the same D.N.A. pattern but different cells as it were different different parts. There’s a classical thought experiment regarding the exactly this is getting to the problem of identity with the Argus. The ship just in the Argonauts famous Greek ship there sailing around it from time to time. Pieces need to be replaced and they replace them out and they do so until there are known to be original piece of the left is the same Argus is the first question the second question is What if a collector has been taking all of your original pieces and they put together a new ship the rickety old version of the original pieces of the ship in the same original configuration is that the Argos. Or is the one that has none of the original pieces in it but has been in continuous operation. The Argus. What’s more important a continuous way front moves forward or what it’s made from. It’s something to think about I think about it give me a little bit differently. I think that that idea of me in the here and now is absolutely certain but I doubt that and I can’t rest anything because everything is epistemically built upon that. The idea that I have had a past and that I will have a future. The thread that runs forward and backward. Those are extremely high probability theories it is not impossible that the universe didn’t it into itself five minutes ago so unlikely as to be not worth considering except in relation to these kinds of discussions but the fact that it’s not impossible means that my future and past existence are certain in the way that my Nichiren. So there’s a slight difference. OK. I think as a mature setting and there’s a certain kind of sense. I mean some level I don’t think of myself as having been diminished by the shedding of use in cell that are taking a bath. But at the same time it’s very kind of my arm and asked me is that my arm was no longer attached to my body it’s no longer part of my living cell I would still identify that as my arm as a part of my body even though it’s no longer in the how do you think it will take to test that theory. Steve thank you. You know under most human rights law I think you get to keep the arm. Well and that’s probably for the best because I have a feeling I’m going to need it in the very near future. But it’s still mind it’s still part of me even though it is now separated Yeah you can take it home with a bag. So but that’s that’s different from a part of me. Right because I don’t take parts of me home in a bag they come along as associated with the meanness as a matter of fact. Moreover than that I would actually have trouble recognizing a version of me that now is less an arm as me if I were looking at it than I would if I were in the position of having me are going to imagine yourself right. But in a very evil genius sort of twist one of your eyes has been removed and you’re now wearing an eye patch. But this is you version from very similar time scale one thousand nine hundred mins in the future. Would you recognize that you as being you or would there be a jarring difference from the you you reckon I guess it would be up to what I would choke. Likelihood of me losing it. I would in the next fifteen minutes which is probably higher than average. That’s fair minded. Oh please will put it back on later. Quit whining. Identity is complicated and especially when you get into for example parts being translated into other people. Musical repugnant for example when you disassociate ownership from body parts in sort of a ridiculous scenario but it does touch on whether you were yours. I think that’s actually a very good point it’s a matter of fact I have heard the phrase and been frustrated by that phrase on many occasions from people talking about transplanting organs you have so and so’s heart right. Well it seems like to me is it summed up inside my body and Huling as occurred to such an extent that that is now interconnected and functional within my body is no longer someone so it’s hard. It’s now my heart. It’s now that person’s body part that is connected with their tissues and been a part of their living Athens so bodily autonomy aside I think we tend to need to get back to our core concept here. Do we know ourselves something. Should we feel like we need to do something for ourselves going forward or do we feel like we need to do something for ourselves as a leader time. Should we save that extra few dollars or should we just spend it on something that looks nice. Marketers of long called Saving consumerism needlessly delayed the concept that we are in some way putting something away for the future is of course risky on something but what. Others knew of this question is not so much the idea that there might be different self than I am now in the future. What bothers me is when that line can be drawn right because I am always a slightly different person. Everything now passes. So what point does the person that I am now in some sense become different from the person I will be. That’s fair I think that different people view that differently I think it’s much more subjective sort of thing. So for some folks it’s when other pinion about something has significantly changed or when you know more than formerly had it depends on the person person or what if the past me had made the better decisions such that my life right now we’re in a much better place. I’d certainly enjoy it and maybe if I take the time to set that up and develop those with the neck and you know enjoy those going forward not just at any one point. That sort of continuously improve my life and keep improving and making it better and that you know the question some point in my nose at the Meet me at this instant there isn’t I who will enjoy the benefits of that in the same way that other mean we who’s here now would have enjoyed the benefits of the past me had made better decisions for I think that’s coming from the benefit of hindsight. I’m sure we can all look back and say well if I’ve done this better if I had studied more in school if I had worked out more or what have you then my life in some way would be objective better and we don’t know that because it didn’t happen. Therefore it is undoable thing well again to reach back a little further the idea of them even bothered by is what I tell stuff. Now he needs to start a strict regiment of the high protein low carb diet NG so that I can now be skinny and feel good about my body whereas I might be happy to tell me from two weeks ago not to eat that piece of cake because we’re going to feel bad because of it it seems like there’s not much different me for many years ago. Then there is a me from not that long ago. Yeah you know if that applies going forward there’s a meat was very like the meat today who will be the me in two weeks and there’s a very different me who beat me in twenty years. If there will be give me twenty years it is another thing that I’m here from the ME in the past is not just the circumstances of my life but also the memories that I had. I go back to the seven year old me and say you know you need to buckle down and do the work to get really good grades so that you get high enough and that’s going to get through college and get it for. OK so I know classes stop or back to my time now I trust myself much of my childhood. No this is a trade out here so in some sense what we’re getting to talking about is the notion of OK very deeply into a lot with this concept of whether or not we want something different from a past or future self. Right. If I regret decisions that I’ve made in the past then I might want to make changes to those decisions. Yes On the other hand I do not regret decisions as some other sectors additions I would probably not ask for that to be changed. Going back on the other hand a lot of the moments that I thought I really wanted to tell them were the ones that turned out to be the ones I regretted later so if I know there are certain certain decisions that have in my past been things I regret then. My goal be to not have regrets to want to change anyway but then you still have to suffer with the circumstances that made you regret it right. But maybe I could just not regret the circumstances. Isn’t that what your loan is all about and I think this I think is the Buddhist jerk redefined what makes you happy and everything’s fine. Well but there’s I don’t feel there’s necessarily anything wrong with it if you have the means to change something about your past self. Would you do with the understanding that you would fundamentally alter yourself of now you would radically change potentially radically change everything you are. Let me just go ahead and throw this out here. Fundamentally altering the person that you will have are being is not necessarily all that that’s true. I can think of some improvements I could I could put on my soul but of the bad for me I mean me one year unless all my flaws were terrible. Just comparing myself to the future of Bessel but altered so now. Right that’s a fair point and we’re making a lateral move if you will. Certainly but I mean I think that’s at least until we can kind of read that time bigger year or find a means to temporarily fundamentally alter ourselves which I have done. Apparently fair we have to I think learn to live with ourselves as it were and learn to accept our faults what we’ve done wrong. Well there is the issue of regret. I feel that it is better for myself at least for the self to reconcile that to me. I think it’s the same question of striving in the here and now for the future moment. Again get back to the Trinity. Me in the here and now. In this version on only ten children timeline is the basis of everything else that I think might exist. One of the next two. In order to bridge the problem of induction I have to believe in past and future. I have to have some expectation that there is a future and I have to have some memory of the past in order to make a rational choice about my behavior to bring that expectation about the second world as I can make choices along so past present and future are required to be assumed the past and future are based on the present. But to choose at all is based on the belief in all three. So are we talking about as opposed to like Russell’s high five minute universe hypothesis would you marvel literally. Yeah I definitely think for purposes of this conversation we need to assume that the past is something that happened in the future is something that will happen. But what’s important it seems like to me about you know LOL And that’s right the sense that there is some attitude of don’t do things for the future do things for them now. In so much as we are unsure of the future it is the sense that we cannot assume a future and also know that we have lived to the greatest possible extent in the time we were here because you never believe there will be a future that doesn’t happen right. Whether it happens tomorrow because I get run over by a car whether it happens when I’m ninety five it does my oxygen filter gives out on my fancy electric or whatever else there will be a moment at which I was here and then I am not you know I can see you of me in that future and then everything. You saved up whether the party needed to do something or some form of well then boy I think this is something that humans struggled with not just recently but for a very very long time. Frost is a very good example of the road was taken and it’s not entirely binary choice it really has an entire range of behaviors towards saving up opportunities for the future and expending all of our opportunities right now in between which we navigate to some degree so that live for the NOW thing might be the messages some people need to hear when they are enjoying their life too much because they’re working too hard to do bank for the future and or risk of never actually cashing in their opportunities. Straighten your message here for people who are constantly spending all of their opportunities and not saving or increasing their not just material but its wealth of that situation. Spiritual Well yeah so I think that at this point we kind of need to touch on that music video the Lonely Island there’s about you know love and the switch stance but the video takes for those of you haven’t seen it. It starts off with the premise that yolo is this rallying cry for a generation and this sense of adventure and very quickly changes. Here’s to you only live once meaning. Be careful about that. Don’t take unnecessary risks and by the end of the letter you know you know it’s come to be stated as you want to work out and they’re very very risk averse. I think in their house trying to avoid all possible risks the exact opposite of what it’s originally taken. And what’s interesting about that is that even within the mini world constructed by the video both ends of the spectrum represented as being very poor choice right. Going too far into living without regret doing whatever you feel like at the time is represented very poorly at the beginning and by the end of it. Watch yourself in the house burn off your fingerprints don’t get anywhere near a window both ends of this are represented as being very negative experiences. I feel at this point it’s kind of fair to point out that both traditional Buddhism and Hagel have something to say about this. That may be one or the other extreme isn’t the best option but rather that the best option lies somewhere in the middle. I think you’re going to throw down to an operational. I have always liked the phrase moderation in all things especially moderation I feel like Graham’s young son was going to have too much moderation in moderation you know. Well it was only moderately to be fair. I definitely agree with that on a personal level I think there are times in which you kind of have to go well I want to drink and I want to party but also just have to be at work tomorrow or I want to go I want to party and I have no commitments the next day. You know sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and kind of live in the now. Personally I feel that not doing so wastes an opportunity and with the way that quite a bit of society is growing I feel those opportunities are fewer and fewer going forward but I think this entire process. I mean no one answer to it but the constant thing of managing the risk vs reward system for Trinity versus value in the now versus bank value is what’s very commonly referred to as work life balance. Sure and while we’re playing the game of relating this to your neck you learn the most. Times I think we need to talk about what it is that we’re trying to avoid in our plans. And that’s been termed a poem or if you’re missing out right that to some degree is the driving force behind trying to live and this other kind of way. So whatever balance we strike we have to be one in which we are personally satisfied that we are not trying to live so far outside of ourselves that we can’t hold it together to have the things we want and at the same time has to satisfy and say here that we missed out on something we would have wanted to be a part. This would touch on something else. You get a little bit sidebar it but I think it I think it works well when you are taking in the experiences that you want to because you want them. I think people go overboard when they want to take in. Like you said fear of missing out other people are having more fun than me and internalizing their desires and treating them as if they were my own. And you find you still doing a lot of things that maybe you don’t really want to do that everyone else is doing it and I should know I don’t want to be the lame person peer pressure or whatever that kind of internalizing other people’s expectations also happens a lot with attractions self image of beauty but also with what what we want from life. And I think that’s where people go overboard is when they aren’t sure what they want so they’re just sort of looking around at what other people want in doing that. So that’s different about that experience when we talk about the future when we talk about selves that are not yet. Right. Seems to me that there is a distinction between the sense I have about telling my past self to do something that benefits me and the sense I have of being. Told by a future self to whom I am the past self to do something for him. Sometimes I get to in the first scenario where I’m telling my past oscillator to externalize micro right. I guess my body consciousness and externalize it onto my younger self and say you should have worked out more uneaten right. Whereas when I’m in the position of being externalized all one by just future self I am awfully resistant to the idea of being the one who should be put upon to make this decision whether it is giving up my money for some future self whether it is making healthier decisions. I don’t want to because it’s me who has to suffer for it. So why am i so the worst from past me and future me. Why don’t I see them as being the same. And he is the difference between people who do and don’t make decisions based on future versions of themselves. It was saved well for retirement and worked out a lot now with more problems which I think it’s easier when looking at past me to judge how much better things could have been their own material differences I have the benefit of hindsight I think it’s harder when judging past me because their internal states are kind of hard to remember they’re really streaming through or just how much I really wanted to screw around back then and how important it really was to me. Didn’t it used to dismiss it when I compare it to my hindsight benefit calculation of how much better material certain things this could have been had I not screwed around so much. But let’s face it really what it is really a lot so I think part of what goes into it due to the uncertainty of the future. We talked about this a little bit. Are we sure that if we get contacted by a future self. By the act of them contacting us they have potentially change that future. You know they what we aren’t sure he’s actually going to happen when I am actually talking past me with at risk for work calculation of like you know how much I want to screw around versus how much different things would have been. I also removed the risk that I didn’t know back then because I’m using hindsight I know things could have been better I know how things ended up with with certainty back then I didn’t remember or refraining from screw around for a chance at a better life as opposed to the certainty that I see now well into sort of projected back into the future self being reversed an area in some sense the me in the future wants to be changed in the matter of whether he might or might not be a different me he wants to be it if he wants to be to me who have these other men and that’s also a form of risk reward calculation because he doesn’t know those of those advantages actually getting what he wants. That’s just his perspective on how to get to a place where he’s happy. Perhaps it turns out I study hard get into a good college and then get shot because I was on the wrong campus at the wrong time during the wrong police action. He doesn’t know that because he’d never been that person in the end the person who did it with the exception of maybe total consciousness or complete for knowledge of the future it will always seem of certain and combative to us I think. Well not to take this too far into the metaphor but based on past performance my ability to determine what made my life a better experience has not been great. So how can I trust the future me to be any better at it than I was and we don’t have the hindsight. We have more certainty of the earth and that’s that’s fair and so it is a powerful powerful weapon. Well yeah but you know past me was a little shit in the future we might just be an even bigger shit so I don’t know I think I’ve gotten less and less stubborn as the time goes on I think I’ve been more and more likely to listen the more likely to listen to a message from my future self and I will be a look at this point how so but I think I definitely do feel that the do we owe ourselves anything. Risk reward those lies somewhere in the middle. I feel like some future planning is not necessarily a bad thing but I don’t feel that we should necessarily use that as an excuse to miss out on opportunities that may indeed be once in a lifetime opportunities just for experience to cash out some of our future opportunity and then to now. Absolutely. I’ve been very lucky in that I have been given a lot of opportunities a lot of people I don’t know how I don’t and I am grateful for that and if I could go back in time there are a lot of mistakes I made I don’t know that I would change any of it because I don’t know that I would necessarily come out better for it. Not necessarily just economically or morally or philosophically I would honestly rather keep myself then turn into someone different and perhaps we’d move into a model that could actually give us some insight on maybe we need to see this is an economy of opportunities right. There is a cost of opportunities past present and future and that the decision has to be made on the basis of the understanding of an exchange of one kind or two that if I choose to expand my opportunity to go to a better college. On my opportunity to go to Vegas for this weekend. Then perhaps I can weigh the value of those two experience directly against one another in an economic kind of way in a calculable humans kind of way. I think there’s a good way to talk about conflict in both lot of value decisions. Risk were all things that are available in economics. So I think that is a good language to discuss it wrong. You know once I could go back to the beginning of this entire pod cast that’s how I’ve been talking about it from the start. So I’m certain all of you remember that we can and Vegas when you were about twenty. Recall that pretty clearly. Now I want you to imagine for a moment somebody came to you and said Would you rather have a good college education or weekend in Vegas. Think back on that weekend and realize you’ve already made your decision. That’s Professor Meadow silence. I can’t believe that work. Sean I great tone to use the last word. Well thank you professor. All right kids join me as we go on our journey. Grab the dirt first Carmen your Nicci mustache and let’s get into this thing so I have refrained thus far from getting into new territory and well I’m not going to be able to do it anymore so today’s episode gets on each corner for the last word in each is work. There is a very famous thought experiment called the eternal workers and basically the concept of the eternal occurrences of all time is a flat this that your little segment up off on some far flung edge of the disk of time passes but eventually the whole thing comes back around. Nietzsche illustrates this by way of a demon who sits in your room one night and tells you. Everything you’ve gone through thus far in your life will be repeated. It immediately that you will essentially cease to have new experiences here and will go back to the beginning of your life to experience it again in exactly the same way. Nature’s question about this is not whether or not this is a good thing that’s happened it’s how do you feel about it. Are you immediately overjoyed that you get to live your life again that you get to go through doing all of these things and being all of these things. Or are you very upset about all the hardships you’ll now have to endure again that you got past all of these terrible things and now you have to start all over again. Nicci point in asking a question like this is to ask us to look at our lives and to analyze how we feel about them not to figure out which things we did or didn’t like which things we do or don’t approve of. But to ask us to evaluate the way that we live our lives if we live a life in such a way that we would feel terrible about having to go back to the beginning and do it all over again. What does that say about the way we’ve lived that life and how should we try to live what should we live a life that is entirely full of joy. One that makes us happy. Up to the moment of our death or should we endure hardships to be something else something more. What needs is getting to though and this is where it gets a little bit confusing because there are two major schools. One is that Nietzsche was a determinist and that he thought that essentially this was something that could happen in the universe. He didn’t have a good reason a scientific basis or an observation from which to derive the idea that that did happen but he did have the idea that it was a possible way the world life that everything might rotate. Background in you might have to start again. And if that were the case wouldn’t you want to think about it in advance and have a wife that would be joyous and well lived. From that point on the second possibility and the one that is probably the most popular is that this is just thought experiment to ask you to consider what has gone on in your life and how you choose to live it to think about these things in such a way that we might conceive of a recurrence of time there is a third alternative to which I first tried that is sort of a merging of the two ideas and that is that this is not a fact of the universe nor is it a valid experiment but instead makes a central imperative something that should give us a way to live our lives but we must live as if it were true that this would be the case and this is not solely for our own happiness as we know nature was very interested in how hardships formed us into better and stronger people. But you should be celebrating your hardships to come to a point of what he called a more fatty or the love of it the love of my life it even if it means that I will have to experience terrible things over again my life even if I were overcome immense challenges even if it will be painful and hard to get back through all of the things that go on in my life. I should love the life that I have. I should celebrate the hardships that have come before me and I face the universe with joy in my heart. The concept of getting to live like this again to experience all of these things to go through this pain to come out the other side of it and to be made better by it over and over for nature. Coming to a point of celebration of even the hardest things in our lives makes us the kind of people that does. Serve to go forward in the future. That point of acknowledging accepting and impressing our fates makes us the kind of people who can make decisions going forward that are not based merely on our own pleasure pain Matrix or someone else’s rule based matrix but instead allows us to seize on those parts of the world that we think are important and embrace them no matter how painful they are. What made you want to just under stand in all of this is that by embracing these things by becoming someone who can accept the painting Arjen of their life and still face the world with joy in our hearts. We put ourselves in the position of being able to overcome all the come before us in the future also. And so we have her selves. Why do I do these things. Why do I live this way. And if the answer is just to avoid pain or gain pleasure then have we really done anything worthwhile. But if the answer is because it made me better because it made me stronger because it made it possible for me to go forward and to do more and be more and leave a lasting impact on the world then that is a life well lived in each person. If I lived for my own sake if I lived by my own rules and I went out in the world and made something than I’d have done well the question of the actuality of the eternal recurrence is a bit more tenuous it seems that the universe does not work that way. But if we consider the concept of multiple universes if we consider the concept of a universe that possibly crunches back in at the end of its life cycle. If we consider the possibility that in the heat death of the universe there might be a quantum tunneling effect that causes a new Big Bang the start of the thing over again and the infinite possibilities of the multiverse of many universes forming and collapsing in the same way. Then is that someone realistic to imagine that. I’m wearing the cause over and over again after millions and millions of cycles. There might be another world in which a creature so much like me at so as to be distinct in very few ways might exist. Then it becomes something worth considering that maybe by pondering this very thought of sperm and determining the way that I think that creature that person should also find love. And that’s a pretty expansive thought. I think a lot of ways need to was telling us not what belief about the universe but how to approach what we believe. Well that’s all the time we have for today. Don’t forget to subscribe in review on i Tunes follow us on Twitter send us your questions and if you like what we’re doing here. So for this unpatriotic. Join us next time after I punish Bruce for what he will have done. I’ve been your host perfessor medal. I was will be Sean it was will be forever. I don’t know if that’s me. There are scenes after and that’s the room the machine will be hand. You know what.

Ep 16: Identity and The Other; Are the alienated truly alien?

So Mike All right welcome one and all to Professor puddles I’m great bait and calamitous commentary with the philosophical change again. Today’s episode identity and the other are the alien he is truly alien. I have your host Professor battle. I’m Sean and I’m Bruce. I’m river. There’s going to be an awful lot of Steve’s running around the land. I like the original ones most of which one is original. The weird one won’t the normal one then what are the normal ones. So here I don’t know any of the others who say that we kind of mean the other in the almost ex a central turtle the non-self the one is different. Basically usually this refers to at least in classic existentialism anything that isn’t the self. I would be myself or someone else’s self Look John’s here but more frequently it’s referring to other people. Basically an extension of them is driven by starts working particular. There is this concept of the internal state the seeing thing the perceiver the functionary that is the self that is the subject and object goes on to perceive interact with in some way an object. And essentially otherness in at least Sarge work is the quality of something that is like me but is not me and is treated as an object probably subject on its own right as the most basic level once you define yourself. You also sort of an union way by doing so define everything that is not you that other which you know if you grant some kind of solicits and creates an interesting point when you see other people who are the other but they are also in certain ways like you you would create a weird overlap between not you like you. Well that was a big part of it. I feel such work and some of his contemporaries is reconciling the other and realizing the selfishness of those around you and recognizing that they are themselves this way. So a lot of starch worked out with a more personal point of view but a lot of his contemporaries did this up to talk about other ideas are talked about relationships with women in a lot of cases while I’ve definitely focused on was it a lot but she’d felt any group that was marginalized would be considered another from a societal standpoint not a not a certainly personal standpoint although that does factor into it. That’s something that we see the talents of that in society today in popular use of words like the word objectification comes from that amongst a variety of other things. This is one of the disciplines that expose probably most recently spun off of a loss a fee as a pure abstract and started to collect data on Judy. Ultra postmodernism. There’s also more or less abstract and work around it that it gets into that I think we can touch on the world certainly. This explored a lot this theme in science fiction and horror of a really good recent example what we destruct now and where we see a movie that is ostensibly about the problems with apartheid which the movie was filmed in South Africa and that was a very big problem for them for a very long time and you see a lot of the humans in the loop when District nine was about the apartheid. Yes Oh that certainly makes more sense. It was not actually a documentary we were man I was and that can happen but we see humans treating the aliens that have arrived in Johannesburg as the other they separate the lives not human which biologically they aren’t but they are they’re still shown as being beings of self that think and reason and feel and it definitely sort of leaders some of the historical background of South Africa and that region and you see that in the way the United Nations we’re going they’ll be person of occasion or depersonalization the way that they do that early on. It’s very much the stereotype of the just like today regarding that sort of thing. Interesting that we’ve seen people do one another sort we’ll time. Well when we were presented with a particularly now turning around and that’s alienation right. To make something not a part of to make it not recognizable to separating off all equally a nation is in a lot of the answers without the direction of intention. What we’re talking about these creatures are not like us and they’re treated as worse than us. In this particular way. What was interesting about District nine is that on the D.V.D. version of it there are several subtle signs that one can use in which you can view the movie with the Indian language on or off as a subtitle viewing it with language subtitles turned off. Actually yields a very interesting result of having a sense of these creatures as difficult to understand at the very least if not lesser than the humans which we do understand and which I think drives a very interesting spike into the social commentary and I think that was an intentional move by the producers of the film with other great example what we see is a lot of horror films and just horror of literature Frankenstein’s monster. For more classic representation not necessarily the movies but they were to book the lobster learns and grows and gains intelligence and is shown to be very intelligent talking but will still treat it like a monster. Superhuman thus telling so much that you Lester better than us which is why Willie unable to blend into society is completely whereas others you know that is a huge steaming. Well it certainly seems there are some better qualities that we do and as a matter of fact if I’m remembering Frankenstein one of the monster actually sort of judging us for them at one point is actually reviewing humans as you know. Why do you think you’re so great you seem to have a lot of problems you get over your petty jealousies you have visual stereotyping that goes on where you’re just someone that’s not beautiful you treat a lot of very interesting commentary. Only problem with Frankenstein monster is that he is other that is worse or better but that he is older. In From his point of view he has few ethical problems with killing people because he’s on the other side of some sort of divide on sequels and we have no problems with trying to kill him. And I think this is this is a huge thing because whenever any group of people that try to kill another particular genocidal situations it always starts with humans ation personalisation trying to get the culture to see those people that were about to do away with as other things to be a precursor to any major ethical crime to post back a little of that to District nine actually. I think there’s a really interesting parallel to that which is at times to me they also clues to flash came on the Web site and the flash came could be played from either point of view of the humans or the equations. If you played from the perspective of the humans you were trying to clean up and capture or shoot as many means you could to get them out of the way. If you played it from the aliens perspective though it suddenly became almost like a survival horror. It was a very stealthy very easy stay out of the way try and DOJ to incoming fire kind of thing and it gave you this real sense of the oppression that was supposed to be felt in this. And that I think relates back to this idea that the producers of the movie wanted to give you a game that is a format we’re very familiar with. Here’s a thing running quickly past you you need to shoot it right and then to ask you to play the same game from the perspective of the prey is to ask you to take the position of the other to to truly try and reconcile those two ideas together. And I think that that’s very interesting in relation to what you’re talking about genocide and the need to make the people who are to be put upon the other. Is this idea that it is a purely mental. There’s are we. Good and you know you mentioned the mode of having the survival horror feel to it. The humans are the other in their case or in particular like really really draws on other news. I mean I’m talking about really good or not just go or something so other and so alien that you can’t comprehend it or predict Usually that’s what the monsters are in these things. And another thing the district named not only gives you that otherness through how weird you know you look and sound options and things like that were there with sound it also goes Kafka. The guy starts turning into water which is you cross the line you become a mother the otherness is internalized which is brings it home as much as any horror can. Well and to talk about her and its relation to the terror of what lies beyond those we can talk about graph theory. You know me from. Lovecraft great strength was in stirring up the notion of that which was so alien you couldn’t understand you couldn’t comprehend and then to never bother trying to put it back into comprehensible terms but to just let us leave that which was terrifying for ourselves because we all have within a year of the thing that is so different from us that we can’t comprehend even to say that the monsters in your story are evil is to say that they have a coherent opinion about us which is fairly limited and well that’s kind of interesting. The moral question involving things what are otherworldly especially when religion older gods or when we see any certain science fiction much much older alien races that their kind of view does evolve with it from it’s very much a what is good and evil to use. If you’re powerful being you do you feel like you are morally reprehensible for slaughtering cattle or for destroying ants. What makes you any better than them. Or why would we feel for you if you do not feel for them. It’s strange to be in this position but I don’t feel like it’s a vision of waiting for me to talk about each other associated with that nature’s power structure of the moral state was to say that evil comes from defining an opposition E.C.V. only God is evil because the only God does is to go about its business doing its thing in the way it wants to get the power to do that in the world. The weaker member of our dichotomy in this case to human race season as evil because it is that which it puts upon us which prevents us from doing so and so evil is defined not by something in the world by opposition to something this is how we always define evil. Does it like us. That’s pretty much always if I was something good or evil in the lunchroom or is it what does I think a good question to ask when you’re asking the good we considered evil. Is it like us and I feel that table of law talks about this a lot is specially in relation to you at least from what I got. Relation to power structures in society. Because they’ve all felt that women and other marginal unscriptural looked down upon because they did not hold the power in the society that they were in and therefore more marginalized or more other right and left effectively the ruling class the norm as it were any power minority stance against the normative assumption the group that considered the norm wrote it well and actually meet. It alludes to a very similar kinds of point of asking morality master morality is based on whatever got you to be a master in the first place. That which you did or those like you had in the past to gain power is what becomes good and thus the virtues of the master. And so in some sense the same applies to you. So if you’re talking about war that that which brought us to a point of being in someone else’s power is bad. Those things which they do to continue to have power over us are evil but that which we do that does not promote our power. He comes back. I don’t really think that’s an interesting interesting versal of it certainly there are plenty of folks that would disagree with you but I do think it’s certainly an accurate reading of nature I think it’s fairly true to say that those who have gained power have a lot of influence on our definitions of right and wrong. Well I think about that the housing market crash and it was just commonplace for a corporation to for example default on a mortgage but the individual consumers could buy mortgages that were underwater everyone said no you’ve got to pay your debts you’ve got to stick with that. Whereas if you’re a corporation in this number one the folding. Well maybe I’m not coming across clearly enough about what I’m trying to do which is that it’s not those things that we did to give us power are good because they give us power in the past. They’re good because power is the definition of good good is that which ran to power bad is that which takes away for the Masters that system is fairly simple for the slaves. It’s a reversal because it finds first from the bad. It defines those things which the Master sees as good as being evil and then they find their offices as being good. So like if it’s good in the master morality to be rude. Was he going to do you power in the past to not take prisoners during combat. Right and that’s a good for the Master but bad for the Master is ventilation weakness by letting people live afterwards. The evils of a coin for the slaves being ruthless. If that’s what’s good for the masterwork then our good for the slave is the opposite of it. So giving the giving or I would like you just like to have at this point that nature was very much against this thinking and morality he believed in going beyond it and to create one’s own moral system and to try to enforce it and that factors a lot into the whole concept of the agreements and things of that like is beyond X. is good because we like to do it or X. or Y. is bad because they like to do it you know it was it was very much a must rise above as it were and that’s when you hear me choose critical systems morality. He just thought that the master morality was a little more honest than the slave morality was still not appropriate. It should be moving beyond moral systems. But that’s a track giving a little bit back on point. If we’re going to talk about popular media in this context I think we should definitely point out the antithesis the sort of counterexample that we see a lot especially in more modern horror as opposed to more classic gothic horror which is bizarre. The film specifically remember Rose saw the films where you have the monsters and they’re mindless as far as anyone can tell and they’re out for you and it’s very obvious that it’s you versus them and they’re almost everybody versus the world and him. Certainly it’s kind of interesting that there is no potential for reconciliation there there’s just completely give up and give yourself over to the zombies. There’s no getting over it. You survive right. Yeah exactly and I feel that’s kind of an interesting direction words on it’s nothing else considering especially a lot of the way society’s been building itself lately with the beaver mentality is special in certain sectors. Over and there was ninety nine point nine percent of the population it really just those nation that everybody feels from everything. Well what about the hundred meters and such a good frightening counterpart looks like us and you know a lot of ways like us you’re not and you know that seems to be missing some crucial thing that makes us us. And so in a very real and tangible way because on the other and we are presented with our own fear of doubt which is why yes but not us. I haven’t yet seen my sister come into existence at any minute. For example in Memo where you’ve got clans or zombies when they try to do you know some of the tricks like orcs who are on the other two but you know there are people role play works as groups and in it in a fire with some of these are just take a person and track everything about them that would make you the person interesting I read an article a while back that dealt with the who would like bees or vampires more the article itself was talking about the more progressive folks would drive more fear from Ban her movies and more conservative folks will derive more fear from zombie movies because of all the movie it’s the masses the everybody’s out to get you get your stuff and pull your do what it’s supposed to vampire movies or stories where you. These very select few who are very aristocratic and and charming and well off oftentimes because they’ve been around for hundreds of years and I think that’s the tool that to our society that seems very bright frighteningly accurate. Well a small super powerful elite an entire group of the masses are all useless because those together and you don’t rant. Let me just go ahead and throw out here being around for hundreds of years does not necessarily make one very well. So love that brings up some other interesting stuff. So many movies are very popular right now and there have been very few themed T.V. shows movies popular culture items. We are we are asked to identify with just one of them I can think of roughed up my head is shown of the town and its comical Association. So we’re expected to understand them as other. But at the same time to sort of feel for them as a thing in the world that is not bad but almost certainly especially considering the end of the movie in the sort of the way society deals with zombies after the outbreak and everything’s kind of happened. Society definitely bring back homes as it were and I think the interesting thing about some of the dead and one of the funniest bits in this is the question of how far could you get through the day in a zombie apocalypse before you noticed you were in a zombie apocalypse speaks to how far we’ve already other and become alienated from everything that we might not notice for hours that the people shuffling around in there for your vision to us we went through our day we’re zombies or monsters. From whatever perspective they were almost there already. Sure I am referring to people that I have packed on to the train with or that down next to me at the bus stop but I don’t want to interact with. I mean I may not be this are really afraid in the run for your life can’t wait but there’s certainly an easy looking over my shoulder. Don’t get too close I don’t want to touch you or talk to you. Sense of not wanting to engage that we’re just we’re just in the peripheral vision so we double up into them and that’s what we go through work. So that reason or other that was to get us one step closer to something that’s happened more recently which is as protagonist absolutely Warm Bodies is the first real example I can come up with in modern popular media where trolls around things are as they tired of being caught and sapience again they become aware slowly but surely. So there’s a movie and I’m going to have in the show notes we humans just call Azam bees or something like that. Basically the reverse of the zombie story design these are the people we’re following and they have the opposite experience of all the rest of the people they perceive that and want to suddenly start moving very quickly. They’re very noisy and running around and they’re trying to do things like get two motor engaged to get help. But more recently than that there has just become a new show called Eyes on the end which is on the is actually only fleshed out character who goes around solving crimes and eating breakfast. So the question that this brings up for me anyway is to what extent does personally popular culture of the Zombie and the other to us have the donkey meaning in terms of how we perceive the culture around us I think it is. Might work or narration with Frankenstein in that we’ve got a primary character who you’re given their point of view them and the rest of the world you know it’s outnumbered us versus them but emerging from the classic zombie thing you know what it’s like to be a few downs weirdo normative in a world that’s all but not cool sexy like ours. Another thing I think is worth pointing out that has a lot to do with us as I Am Legend or Omega Man or last minute or earth or the book I Am Legend all of which are ostensibly the same story until a couple of different ways. Where are we find out spoilers by the way that the protagonist of the Dr that’s trying to find rather trying to survive in this post hoc world where these creatures come out at night attack him he’s the bad guy ostensibly but the other in the story actually is the protagonist and that kind of leaves it at that I didn’t realize he was the monster. Exactly he is there a monster they they have they seem to have intelligence and are reasoning beings and he has become the boogeyman over the course of the movie and any of the backstory we see because he is hunting them and holds up at night which is different for them. He’s only of during the day because they’re out at night and all that and it’s very much a sort of I don’t want to say bait and switch but a great reversal of that sort of concept. Who’s the them. I think a lot of these stars I’m talking about is to subvert or break down the us versus them divide and I think that being of other NG I think it’s been a natural religion. I know evolutionary psychology really is very pseudoscience in doesn’t really go beyond conjecture but it seems like we normally do this and we should try to learn to get beyond it. So you know we’ve got one who seems to be the US is actually that them or who seems to be to them is actually the US ones that is District nine where the main character transforms he crosses the boundary from one to the other but to point out those boundaries break them down flip them show that they are ultimately arbitrary I think seems to be the goal of these and I think that is a valuable lesson to learn. It helps us to connect with each other as we tear through the tissue paper of those walls. Well certainly it’s in our nature to define things in some way or other and if you are in a small group situation like travelling nomadic tribes or something like it makes more sense to be able to identify those people who might need a new arm because they are not part of your immediate room that you need to be aware and that makes a certain kind of sense but I think it is part of the modern condition to be shackled with these urges these concepts that we have from them having to subtly long ago in our history and to try and overcome them in the time that we lived and in the way you’re different what is coming for us and I think in a lot of ways that’s why this is such popular themes are because if I look for you know asks questions about what we can become and this seems like something that we have put a lot of energy into thinking about in that way it does mean maybe it’s something that we should be prevalently aware of something we should be spending our time and energy trying to overcome because we are losing so much of our experience. Two this ingrained sense that no longer serves a purpose. Absolutely and I mean a lot of the modern examples of this in society at least that I’ve seen is the us versus them. They disagree with what I have to say therefore they are bad mentality that a lot of people seem to come up with and it holds people part it pulls two groups apart or multiple groups apart and anybody who tries to cross that divide is often shunned from either because if you were doing that you were obviously trying to make peace with the enemy somebody we don’t want to make peace with something that we we don’t want to meet halfway. It’s everything or nothing and anything else just won’t do. And that unfortunately is really occurring a lot in society and in politics and all around in a lot of discussions online groups you start to think that the problem is that both cancer fighting each other this group was a sacrament versus women X. boxes yesterday whatever it may be where anything from either side to actually attack the barrier between them is usually seen by the other as an attack on them and sort of reinforces it. So you have some people in the middle actually get along quite well on those divides but there are people on the outside saying it’s versus them as opposed to it’s all of us versus the thing that’s keeping as a part well into large if you see a parent just trust that I am also calming L.Z. you’re either with us or against us. You’re either one of us or you’re one of them. Your definitely not some third alternative because the world is divided into people who think along lines are getting way to long ones that we find ourselves. And everyone else. If you’re not in category a vineyard and have a great latte as opposed to being angry or C. or D. K. and from now there’s a perspective and the nuance of the many voices that surround us and the notion of you’re either with us or against us is easily logical undercut by saying what I’m against is a definition of us set up. Now the definition that your statement relies on falls apart so that’s kind of the false dichotomy it is you don’t attack the person or the group but I do you know the concept itself of the dichotomy. We’re always attacking ideas never people. I mean in this kind of a basic doing any kind of philosophy or any kind of critical analysis of anything. Very often you have to remind people that it’s not you I’m after is the idea the bad idea strong or philosophical debate is the notion that we disagree without being disagreeable. And to me anyway what that phrase means is it’s my job to disagree with the idea to counter and challenge and fight back against the notions that are put forth by the people present. I’m not to be cruel or to take it as a personal way to attack someone because I don’t like their eyes and that’s to a large extent something that our modern political discourse has lost. Certainly you don’t see a lot of folks at least in the United States crossing the aisle as it were they tend to fit into one camp or the other and the people who do try to do that end up getting pushed out rather quickly as seen as being too moderate and I think that’s a problem in the larger political system personally. The incentive for politicians seems to be towards with more polarization that would give them more hours doing that. So there’s a systemic problem there I’m not sure how to address it I think as an entire other topic starter Psystar believes in ages. I little less serious than some of the examples I’ve been given before but it very much. Attacks and deconstructing others as being just plain silly. Absolutely I mean if you think about the time in which Dr Seuss wrote that it was during a lot of the civil rights movement. The entire point of it was y’all look affectively saying why are you fighting. There are very few things that separate all of us. Why let it bother you. And one thing I think would help us would help quite a bit. Think about is in all of the different ways we can divide each other or that we can divide ourselves into two groups and level one as being normative having the power majority and the other one being non-normative or the minority whether it’s race and international and religion some other beliefs that’s important to you. Gender orientation and business there are so many categories all of which have their own dividing lines that if you think about it there are very very very very few people who actually have cited every single one of them for somebody to be completely normal would be extremely weird if you ever really met a perfectly normal individual perfectly normal person would turn different. Yeah but some agree. We’re all striving for not just the in-group backroom dynamic range is something that is ingrained in us and we’re all looking to be inside the group. If the norm is determined by which to grow. Find it’s down we’re all striving towards. Which is interesting when you consider that we are marginalizing ourselves in ways that we may not even be fully aware of the word gain acceptance allegation from verbs. You aren’t even sure we agree. Given that we had to change drastically to be harder. Interesting that you bring up the whole striving for morality in trying to be alike thing there is and I’m going to go a bit left field with this one as an example. But there’s an end of a fairly recent poll that had a group that it was the liberal they define themselves as the normal in those that didn’t follow the herd as they called it the herd mentality were ostracized and were excluded and often attacked because they didn’t want to follow the group and I think that’s that’s very telling in a lot of Western culture and a lot of all cultures honestly there are a lot of people in every culture that’s like you’re not normal so therefore you must be bad and it’s just interesting the way that they actually made it a political entity of sorts in the show. I think there is I mean you can’t really back it up it seems but it does seem to me to be sort of a human nature E. type of thing. I also think that it’s something we think we can and should work or work out for me personally I tend to actually go back to start and the way I apply that is I am the norm in the degree to which anyone in the world differs from me and everyone does at least a little bit. They are normal. In fact one of the we don’t be in the same boat. There are two kinds of people in the world there are those who divide the world into that of people and the rest of us. So as long as we don’t believe there should be again. I think there’s a lot deeper than that I don’t think we can just say well if everybody viewed everyone as different everything would be OK. People would be a lot more distrusting they necessarily are right now I think we have to confront the fact that everybody and I may be saying the same thing and I’m just not getting it the way you’re saying it is we have to address that everybody is unique just like everyone else. Everybody is different in some way. We’re all precious beautiful snow flakes. But if you look at the whole snow bank it’s hard. Again it was Bruce Seidlitz river. I grant you the last word. So the whole thing about other NG and the us vs them mentality is kind of a hard subject to broach because there’s a possible chance that you might be attacked for doing so by either side even if you’re not talking about one group specifically it’s a very touchy subject I think for a lot of folks and can make it seem like you are in the wrong even if you’re not I personally feel that one of the ways we can get a good dialogue going is to bridge the gap to sit down and talk about things no matter what it is if you do support one team or another if you are on one side or another of an issue one of the things we can do as people as individuals is sit down and talk to one another be willing to extend the olive branch as it were and I think that is vitally important. More than ever in our society because we have been seeing this polarization because we have been seeing this. Oh I’m from I think your for your thing and I never shall between me and I think that’s a big problem I think I think it can be overcome by sitting down and just kind of recognizing that we’re all people that we’re all in this together as it were and that we kind of all are in a very similar to what we all know. We will die for our people and I think that’s a really good way to open up communication. I’ve personally traveled a lot and despite a lot of misgivings that seemed to come about when talking about folks from elsewhere in the world I found that most of the people I ran into were not very different than myself or the people I know maybe speak a different language maybe even look a little different but a lot of the people who wanted the same things wanted to kind of get along get through this existence as best as possible and I think that the us versus them mentality really obscures that I think it takes away that sort of understanding and that we need to overcome it. That’s what we need to get beyond it. We need for lack of a better term work together. If going forward if we’re going to do anything to build two if you want to leave something for the next generation for for us to not dissolve into chaos. We need to kind of reconcile the fact that we’re not so different and the same times very much are one thing that can be done to do this is talk to people more Talk to your neighbors talk to people you run into don’t try to go in with any sort of pretense. I think it’s easier for me to say that because I kind of fit in the quote unquote core demographic. I am in my mid twenty’s white guy I’m the group that gets pandered to the most. And it can be hard for some folks especially with as much bitterness that seems to be out there and misgivings about various people. I think this is vitally important that we all kind of put that behind us to try and communicate more. Well that’s all the time we have for today. Join us next time after we have the philosophers out make around Steve’s ninety three thirty three fifty seven back into the steep tax. Don’t forget to subscribe interview on itunes. Follow us on Twitter. So this your questions and if you like what we’re doing here. Support us on Patria I’ve been your host professor but I’m Bruce Shaw were and with your original rowing with only one of the technical you just now figured that out. You know. 

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