#41: Life Is Holy War pt. 1: Two Stories about a Mountain
(01/31/2022) In this, the most wild journey we have undertaken thus far, we examine the notion that reality consists of a tension between opposites reflected at any given level of analysis, from the big bang to the evolution of brain hemispheres with irreconcilable modes of processing to right-left political division. Arnold reads from the book he is writing, Fight Like An Animal: In Search of a Science of Survival, telling two stories of a mountain, which reflect the right and left hemispheres' respective modes, but which are also strongly suggestive of egalitarian and authoritarian world views. We explore the surprising notion that the very terminology of right and left to describe political orientations might be an instance of the brain hemispheres conceptualizing themselves, and thus set ourselves up to explore the bizarrely rich history of people and whole cultures seeming to intuit the divided nature of their beings. Finally, we examine a few examples of how a feedback loop between biology and technology can cause left hemisphere processing to become ascendant, with catastrophic consequences.
Bibliography for episode 41:
Henrich, J. (2020) The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous. Picador.
Henrich, J., Heine, S. J., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). The weirdest people in the world? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33(2-3):61–83. doi:10.1017/s0140525x0999152x
McGilchrist, I. (2009) The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. Yale University Press.