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  • Writer's pictureArnold Schroder

#62: Metamorphosis pt. 1: The Age of Mutual Incomprehension

(05/13/2023) This series examines the future of the human evolutionary journey. Can we adopt behaviors other than the ones that are driving us to chaos, misery, and collapse? Building on the notion of developmental plasticity as the core driver of evolution we established in Revolutionary Biology, we examine the feedback loop between technology and biology that characterizes our journey to extinction. Each social system, we find, elicits only a subset of the range of evolved human potentials, and the one we inhabit fracture us, so that we are confined to a tiny portion of our abilities. We apply these themes of confinement and fracture across a wide range of situations pertinent to our converging crises: the epistemic fracture that makes communication impossible; the compartmentalization of painful realities at the heart of both individual trauma responses and societal dismissal of ecological crisis; the social role specialization that gives power to certain kinds of people; the narrow awareness and fixed beliefs characteristic of those who are running our lives; and the agonizingly narrow confines of the hall of mirrors from which we must escape if we are to see the world as it is.

Bibliography for episode 62:

Bishop, B. & Cushing, R. G. (2008) The Big Sort: How the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart. Houghton Mifflin.

Gambetta, D. & Hertog, S. (2016) Engineers of Jihad: The Curious Connection between Violent Extremism and Education. Princeton University Press.

Inglehart, R. (1977) The Silent Revolution: Changing Values Among Western Publics. Princeton Legacy Library.

Levine, P. A. & Frederick, A. (1997) Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma. North Atlantic Books.

McGilchrist, I. (2009) The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. Yale University Press.

McGilchrist, I. (2021) The Matter with Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions, and the Unmaking of the World. Perspectiva Press.

Schmidt, J. (2000) Disciplined Minds: A Critical Look at Salaried Professionals and the Soul-Battering System that Shapes Their Lives. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

Schroder, A. G. (2022) The World Got a Lot Like the Internet: Technology and Political Psychology Have Entered a Strange Feedback Loop, Making the 2020s the Authoritarian 1960s. Against the Internet.

Schroder, A. G. (2022) The Biology of the Left-Right Divide. Against the Internet.

Scott, J. C. (1998) Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. Yale University Press.

Sylvae, J. (2018) Abetting the Prison Break of the Self: Freeing Psyche & Body from Modernity. PhD Dissertation for Western Institute for Social Research.

Tuschman, B. W. (2004) The Guns of August. Presidio Press.

Tuschman, B. W. (1985) The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam. Random House.

West Eberhard, M. J. (2003) Developmental Plasticity and Evolution. Oxford University Press.

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