Recently on the Futurati Podcast we interviewed Thomas Moynihan on how humanity came to discover the possibility of its own extinction and, with it, the full value of ourselves and our potential future.
Ideas are the basic means by which we grapple with the staggering complexity the world. They matter, and where they come from matters.
Without a proper understanding of our place in the universe, of whether or not we're likely alone, of the source of values, and of what is likely to end the human experiment, we simply can't know how high the stakes are.
With the discovery of the concept of existential risk we've achieved an important milestone in our maturation as a species; Dr. Moynihan is, to my knowledge, the first intellectual historian to tell this story.
In our conversation we also discuss the anatomy of viral memes, the cognitive scaffolding required for having certain kinds of insights, 'vanguard ideas' which up open new regions of conceptspace, and many other things.
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