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.

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