Steven Johnson, Marie Tv., Jason Talk discussed on The Marie Forleo Podcast


It's just just such a fascinating subject. I'm Marie TV. Were always coming up with ideas and everything else. We do in the business for you when it comes to creativity. Do you think that there's ever in new ideas everything in interational version of something that's come before that's that's. I kind of fall in line with that notion that everything is kind of a remix. Everything builds it's on pre existing knowledge base and creative people are people that are able to connect the dots in a new way arrange the Legos in a different order but but using the same building blocks. There's actually a series on the web. That's really popular called. Everything is a remix that's genius and it just shows a lot of things that we consider original or actually again a remix of what came before and so that's where. I think that whole notion about steal like an artist or you know good artists borrow great artists steal because the the truth of the matter is everything builds on what came before so as long as you site where your inspiration comes from or you give credit to wear you're connecting the dots from beyond that that I think we all kind of share in that space in which ideas can have sex and they should all belong to all of us. Yes actually that's what I wanted to talk about next. I thought it was such an interesting turn of phrase. Obviously it's like a little bit saucy a little bit. Sassy talk to me about ideas having sex and why you're so passionate about bringing these very interesting thing amazing philosophical philosophical concepts and packaging them in a mainstream way that everybody can get well that term ideas having sex rex. I think it came after I read Steven Johnson's book where good ideas come from a natural history of innovation which is a dazzling book about the origin of ideas and he writes a lot there about how we need to create a space ecology of thought and he talks about how cities are fertile spaces uses for ideas to have sex because of the density of the way people are arranged near each other people from different backgrounds co mingling together sprouts new re combinations of ideas. He talks about the rise of coffee shop as another instance in history that led to a lot of ideas because you put a lot of people in a small space you give them lots of caffeine and ideas intermingle mutate and sprout and in the age of the Internet all of a sudden even the city even though it's still a very creative place. It's not a necessary precursor anymore because the age of the Internet we transcend distance and time and space itself so now anybody who is interested in anything can coalesce around someone else was interested in the same thing and they can have that kind of ideas idea sex but I love the metaphor of talking about ecology or space where ideas which are like organisms can have sex which is the whole the solution of we went from a world of jeans a world of memes so ideas these memes are these living things ideas leap from brain to brain. They compete for the resources verses of our attention. They have infectivity. They have spreading power. This notion that ideas are live is is a wonderful idea and actually I remember in one of your videos. You talked about about how they retain some of the characteristics of organisms and that just kind of blew my mind. I want to hear Jason Talk about that. Well that was Richard Dawkins in the selfish office gene I believe in the seventies this book where he introduced the term me and of course meam rhymes with jeans and he says you know we used to live in world where information was only exchanged through sex sexual reproduction that's how genetic information mixed with other genetic information but with culture with language all of a sudden and we had this new information technology that allowed us to encode information in vocal patterns and transmitted through time and space outside of DNA that was a new you replicator writing allowed us to encode information. Take it outside of the mind and put it over there and let it spread. Let other people read it so it was this is this notion that at that point we went from a world of genes to a world of memes and that this new replicator accelerated our capacity to transform form the world because it just it started building and building and building and building and building and now we live in that we have the global nervous system where information is traveling faster than ever. I mean it's it's a wild space right yeah. It's refined thoughts travelling at the speed of light. It's so exciting to me and often times. I just really stop and think about how much I I love the Internet. I talk about unlike it. I remember getting online for the first time in going. I can reach people in another part of the world that would never never have a chance to connect with on a spiritual level on any level and it literally makes me want to jump Outta my skin. I think there was a famous Jesuit priest called tailored discharged in and he talked about the Omega Point and the acceleration of technology is leading towards this apex where we all kind of merge into this Super Meta organism. He refer to it as the new US fear that rises above the biosphere so it's this membrane is going to surround the earth. That's all mind. It's all thought it's all the thoughts of billions of people finally becoming this sort of Meta organism and it's a wild idea but think about it. I mean you create a piece of content that doesn't it just inspire the people in this room but that inspire somebody in South Korea or in Berlin and it might change the book that they decide to read that day which might change changed the major that they go for in college which might then change the course of human evolution because they might invent something so. It's like we do now. Ideas are a force of evolution Russian and the fact that our ideas are unbounded by normal Euclidean meet space limitations of distance and time means that we're in this world where thought ought travels at the speed of light and thought evolves and mutates and wow knows where that's going to go but it's an exciting time if used wisely. How much do you love that. Were alive right now. And how much do you love especially given what you do and your skill set and your passion yeah one hundred percent. I mean look technology gets a lot of criticism and that's because technology always been a double edged sword and I understand I mean when we discovered fire. It's been famously says you could use fire to cook your food and and that led to this acceleration or capacity to absorb nutrients and it freed us to have all this time to think and so on and so forth but you can also use fire to burn your enemies you can use the alphabet to write Shakespearean sonnets that enrich the imagination or you can use the alphabet composed hate speech and lead people to kill each other so technology extends but it can extend into any direction and it's how we use these tools ultimately determines if they're good at her bad but I haven't unwavering belief leave that if you look at the macro trends overall. We tend to use these things for good Steven. Johnson wrote a whole other book about that future perfect where he talks about look. It's not utopia but it's leaning that way. The world has never been less violent than it is today contrary to what you see in the Media Steven Pinker Old Myth of violence Ted talk says that the chances this is a man dying at the hands of another man or the lowest than they've ever been in the history of man. yeah if you watch game of thrones. It's like Whoa thank God. We're not there anymore. Totally totally totally but you know again. The media is doom and gloom so it makes you almost think that the world is going to hell when in fact there's a lot of things that are going right and and so again it's how we use these tools was ultimately they will determine our fate. I do believe though that now. It's more up to us than it's ever been. I think we're the chief agents of evolution solution now so evolution now has mind attached to it so we'd better use our minds wisely and use these tools for the common good. I think yeah no one hundred percent in which brings me to what I think is one of your favorite subjects to getting deeper into the future and I know you and I are both fans this idea the singularity for anyone one watching who's not familiar with that term okay so the singularity. There's a lot written and said about this idea. it's actually originally a physics term so it's a term that's. Information Technology futurists borrow from physics and originally the meaning is what happens when you go through a black hole and apparently the laws of physics kind of collapse when you go through that black hole so you can't really you can't really know what what happens when you go through it and so it's it's it's a metaphor that's been borrowed to describe a moment when the packs of information technology coalescing artificial intelligence the biotechnology revolution volusia reprogramming our biology and the nanotechnology revolution which turns like matter into a programmable medium everything the level of the atom becomes manipulable and so essentially these three overlapping revolutions are predicted to lead us towards a moment that after which is impossible for us to predict what happens next week because when we EH radically extend our cognitive capacities with digital tools infinitely more advanced digital tools even than what we have today or when we create a non biological mind and which is coming soon. I mean there's the blue brain. Project is spending over a billion dollars to create a digital sentence and the whole point is that this mind wouldn't be bound by the physical limitations that we have. We're fifty six K modem. You know we're we're. We're at one point. Oh imagine like a nine point zero mind on the silicon on that can upgrade itself so the whole point is trying to imagine the new sublime mind spaces that will emerge is like like trying to explain to a chimp the nuances of Shakespearean sonnet. It's just no matter how bright the chimp is. He can't get the nuances of of language and so that's where it gets excited because I think the singularity open the the the metaphor it just it opens us to the possibility of imagining the NFL imagining the almost impossible to imagine and so it lends itself to wonderful speculation. I think a lot of speculation for me. I get very very excited by you know Ray Kurzweil abundance all of that stuff. I can't get enough whenever I read or hear talk with people about in like. Oh so scary and I know that at one point you said you know what if what if that consciousness is actually more empathetic. It's like I had never heard that perspective before because everyone thinks about it. It's like the machines are coming. That's it. We're going to get totally. So what do you think about that. I mean and I thought that was such. Does that tie into your do you have spiritual beliefs. I mean not traditional ones. I grew up in a secular Jewish household but my mom is an artist and a poem so I think our religion was art. Art Is transcendent you know and I defy transcendence As when the sum of the parts adds up to more than the parts you know you put you put materials together in a certain way and what results exceeds seeds those materials and music and art and languages so transcendent and so that's that's my version of spirituality but to answer your question you know we've always been scared of change disruption when when writing was invented. I've read that socrates used to being opposed to it because he says if we write things down. We won't have to remember anything and so our brains will rot so there's been you know. The establishment of the time is afraid eight of these new disruptive tools because they shake up the status quo and I think it's the same fear that people had about video games. Oh you are GONNA make us. All you know violent or they're gonNA atrophy trophy our brains when in fact it's found out you know video games. Engage your problem solving skills engage your strategy skills and your brain and all these amazing ways you know. I don't know if you've heard of the book. Reality is broken..

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