Great video! Gives you insight.
Great video! Gives you insight.
"Empathy is grounded in the acknowledgment of death and the celebration of life."
This is an excellent video overall, but the speaker gives the impression that Y-chromosomal Adam and Mitochondrial Eve existed at the same time by saying "the Bible got this one right." The names Adam and Eve were used because the Western World is heavily influenced by Christianity, the Mitochondrial progenitors are estimated to have been separated by 110,000 to 140,000 years.
The video as a whole, but especially the acknowledgment of the fact that the human mind has changed since the time of Medieval serfs and ancient hunter-gatherers brings to mind an excellent book called The 10,000 Year Explosion by anthropologists Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending. In the book, the authors suggest that the development of agriculture caused a huge increase in the rate of human evolution, and numerous evolutionary adaptations were brought about by changes in lifestyle and society.
О западном образовании.
Excellent presentation - one every human being should watch and consider.
Let mankind ring true to man's empathic nature. Let freedom ring!
HEAR HIM OUT...HES GOT SOMETHING....:)
We are all one and connected
I love this video both for the lecture and the illustrations. Thank you, jwb1979, for sharing it.
My only nitpick is with the misrepresentation of findings from genetic anthropology that appears near the end, when Rifkin says, "The Bible got this one right." He's not alone in this opinion, and I can forgive his rhetorical license, but my pedantry compels me to correct it. In short, "Database Woman" (a reference to Mitochondrial Eve, it seems) was not the only woman of her time to pass on genes to all of us, Y-chromosomal Adam was not the only man to do so, and many millennia separated them. Oh, and the genetic record is silent on talking snakes and magical trees.
I was surprised to see that the theory presented here parallels some of my arm-chair musings on human prehistory. I too believe empathy appeared a very long time ago, though we've only recently broadened its application. To elaborate: two primate survival strategies explain the evolution of empathy. One is social organization, tying the interests of the individual to the interests of the group. (As Rifkin says, "The first drive is to belong.") The other is the ability to model the behaviors of other species, aiding hunting and evasion. (Clifford Geertz wrote a small tome on this, and mirror neurons may play a role in it.) Populations whose members were able to apply that modeling skill not only to antelope and lions, but also to other members of the group, and not only for callous self-advancement, but also in altruism and cooperation, were more enduring and so were selected for reproduction. As such groups proliferated, so did empathy.
Incidentally, we may have empathy to thank for other human qualities. For example, our emotional expressions undoubtedly made such modeling more reliable, and thus made the group a more successful unit. Someone who's laughing, blushing, or shedding tears is providing information about his or her emotional state, a heuristic to guide interaction and facilitate harmony. Further, our expressiveness was probably bootstrapped with our aptitude for symbolic thinking. The former places more demands on the latter, and the latter provides more opportunities for the former. Hence, a feedback loop leading to ever more sophisticated recognition of and utilization of signals, which may be called intelligence. Natural forces jury-rigged us a soul.
I'm also delighted and intrigued by the even greater parallels between Rifkin's narrative and Terence McKenna's. Obviously the details are different, but both tie a theory of hominization to an optimistic futurism through a consciousness-oriented historigraphy. McKenna argued that psilocybin mushrooms introduced our bestial ancestors to spiritual experiences, value systems, and novel ways of thought, including empathy. When the climate changed and mushrooms grew scarce, we reverted to a more warlike mentality and invented religions to fill the mushroom-shaped hole in our hearts, what he called "the fall into history". Through an "archaic revival", rescuing the partnership values with which we were made human, we can use the products of history, its toolkit of ideas and technology, to save ourselves. I was reminded of this especially when Rifkin said, "We have the technology to think viscerally as a family," and "It may be possible to save our species and maybe even our planet." This would have had additional meaning for McKenna, who taught that psilocybin can connect one to the "Gaian mind".
Psilocybin demonstrably broadens awareness, and under certain conditions it introduces one to what seems a separate intelligence, and although the identity of this Other is up for interpretation, the sense of empathy and interconnectedness fostered by psilocybin is powerfully transformative. I hope that those who share Rifkin's vision consider its potential.
The ego truly is a double edged sword. In order to realize this new empathic "ideal" we are going to have to lose some of ourselves in the process. Perhaps our egos will crumble to the ground like sand castles. Identities will begin to merge closer together when we find our minds all mixed across the beach of consciousness. Twitter and other social networks have already achieved a rudimentary level of shared consciousness, an "ambient awareness" of the lives and emotions of people all across the globe.
It only gets ugly when you realize everyone is that much more vulnerable. The ego may isolate, but it also acts as a barrier, a shield. Time to put your faith in humanity to the test...
Empathize with the common struggle for existence
A brilliant perspective - and a well-spent ten minutes.