Bret Weinstein

Brett Weinstein on Freedom Pact with Lewis Franielczyk

Check out the The Freedom Pact Podcast Page

Key Takeaways

  • “What unites us exceeds what divides us by leaps and bounds” – Bret Weinstein
  • The greatest historic successes of human beings depend on cooperation against a common enemy
  • Utopians believe that they know the blueprint to get to their imagined Utopia
    • It is impossible to design a “perfect” system upfront
      • You won’t know its flaws until the system is in place
    • “The way to make a functional system is through prototyping” Bret Weinstein
    • “Many of the greatest tragedies in human history are the result of Utopians attempting to inflict their viewpoint on a population and then discovering in which way it comes apart” Bret Weinstein
  • Most people don’t have ill intents; they simply start from very different sets of assumptions
  • “The most precious thing we have is a human life that is liberated” – Bret Weinstein
    • Human life is very easily squandered if someone has to focus exclusively on getting by
    • If one is liberated and can focus on things that matter, he ends up delivering value to humanity
  • A society that rejects science is like a driver that puts on a blindfold, it will crash eventually
  • A meaningful live for Bret is a life in which one gives more than he takes

Books Mentioned

Intro

  • Bret Weinstein is an evolutionary theorist, the founder of Unity 2020, and the host of the DarkHorse Podcast
    • Check out Bret’s website
  • Hosts: Lewis Franielczyk (@FreedomPactPod)
  • In this chat, Bret discusses the current political situation, the ideas behind Unity 2020, and more interesting ideas about society

The Current State of Media and Avoiding Bias

  • Every news channel has a pronounced bias
    • To make sense of the world, it is necessary to correct for that bias by tuning into channels that are not targeted at us
  • The popularity of the Intellectual Dark Web signals that people are starved for authenticity
    • We’re mostly used to being targeted from marketers that are trying to sell us something
    • When we see someone authentic, we get a strong desire to listen to them
      • It works the same way in classrooms. Students respond much better to candid professors who admit the limits of their knowledge

Social Justice and Unfairness

  • Humans (and other primates) are built to register unfairness
    • We seem to care more about wealth distribution than the absolute level of well-being
      • Even though total levels of wealth have risen dramatically and we are all better off than our ancestors, people still attack Western civilization
    • Unfairness is a real problem, and if not addressed it could destabilize civilization
      • The issue is that it is not being addressed correctly right now, causing many people to tune out and stop caring about it

On the Upcoming Elections

  • Bret sees both candidates as disastrous and that’s why he started the Unity 2020 movement
  • Assuming that Unity 2020 doesn’t take off, Bret expects Trump to win by a large margin
    • Biden hasn’t laid out any vision and has only portrayed himself as “not Trump”, not a strong position

The Current Political Duopoly

  • Our system is structured to condense different faction into large incoherent alliances (Democrats and Republicans)
    • You can’t be part of the conversation unless you join one of the alliances
      • As everyone joins, they get stronger and make any third party “dead on arrival”
    • This structure allows the two main parties to be highly unpopular without being vulnerable
  • Third parties have a further disadvantage: The Greater Evil Paradox
    • They tend to “steal” votes from the major party that’s closest to their values (e.g. Green Party takes votes from Democrats)
    • So voting for them has the effect of favoring the party that one dislikes the most
  • The current duopoly guards high office from anybody who would seriously address corruption

What is Unity 2020?

  • “What unites us exceeds what divides us by leaps and bounds” – Bret Weinstein
  • Unity 2020 is a movement aiming to solve the problems of the current political system
    • It proposes to draft two candidates (one from each party)
    • Elected candidates will govern as a team, by consensus
    • Each candidate stays at the top for four years and then exchange until one of the candidates has governed twice
  • Three characteristics of potential candidates
    • Courageous, Capable, and Patriotic
  • After running a voting process the most popular ticket was to have Tulsi Gabbard and Dan Crenshaw
  • The greatest historic successes of human beings depend on cooperation against a common enemy
    • A nation can succeed until it has an opposing force, after which it will create factions competing inside
    • The question is, can we inspire unity and cooperation among the factions?
  • Bret sees Unity 2020 to continue expanding the movement beyond 2020

What is the Most Pathogenic Idea?

  • In The Parasitic Mind, Gaad Saad calls “Postmodernism”, the most pathogenic idea
  • According to Bret, “Utopia” is the most pathogenic idea afflicting us
    • The human mind is attracted to the notion of a perfect world
    • Many people try to design a perfect world, without understanding the characteristics of a complex and dynamic system
      • In a complex system, if you maximize any value, you will cause all the others to crash
    • Utopians tend to believe that they know what’s the blueprint to get to their imagined Utopia
      • It is actually impossible to design a “perfect” system upfront
        • You won’t know its flaws until the system is in place
      • “The way to make a functional system is through prototyping” Bret Weinstein
      • “Many of the greatest tragedies in human history are the result of Utopians attempting to inflict their viewpoint on a population and then discovering in which way it comes apart” Bret Weinstein

Issues with Academia

  • The way we fund Universities puts a bias in favor of experiments against theory, “which is preposterous”
    • Theorists don’t need lots of funds and don’t win big grants, so Universities tend to discard them
    • Without the partnership between experiments and theory, we shortcircuit the scientific process
      • Ideas that should have quickly been dismissed may come to dominate scientific fields
  • The culture of Academia is timid and compliant in the face of power

Is Going to University the Right Choice for Young People?

  • Bret thinks there’s no good answer to this question
    • “Even if a University education is close to useless at this point, one may need the credentials to be taken seriously” Bret Weinstein
    • The price of a college education doesn’t reflect the value of what you learn
      • Due to the free resources available now, you can still get a great education outside of the traditional system

About the Recent Riots

  • We have to be careful about the ability of ideological movements to detect and capture the public’s sympathy in a given moment
    • The anarchist movement used the death of George Floyd as an opportunity to associate itself with BlackLivesMatter and come in the mainstream
  • Bret sees the possibility of a Civil War emerging as fairly likely
    • When people see their antagonists as subhuman, they tend to go after each other
      • That’s what we are starting to see in many situations
  • A game/activity that Bret suggests
    • Tune in to people with opposed worldviews to ours
    • Try to see the world through their eyes and bridge the gap
    • It’s really rewarding to cross that bridge
      • Most people don’t have ill intents, they simply start from very different sets of assumptions
      • As you practice this, beware of bad actors and sociopaths

Don’t Game Honorable Systems

  • Bret’s principle to decide when to play by the rules is: Don’t Game Honorable Systems
    • If a system is well-intended, it’s not your right to destroy it, so play by the rules
    • If the system is not honorable (dealing with a greedy corporation), you can see the rules as flexible and it might be ok to break them

Guns, Germs and Steel

  • Guns, Germs, and Steel, written by Jared M. Diamond, had a big influence on Bret
    • The book reveals the real forces that shaped winners and losers in history
      • We tend to think that what makes civilizations powerful or weak depends on differences among people
      • The truth is that some historical accidents empowered some societies and disempowered others
    • Bret’s takeaways from the book:
      • The prospect of a fairer world is reasonable
      • The idea that those who are more deserving tend to acquire more, is not the dominant force between populations

If Bret Could Broadcast a Message to Humanity

  • “The most precious thing we have is a human life that is liberated” – Bret Weinstein
    • Human life is very easily squandered if someone has to focus exclusively on getting by
    • If one is liberated and can focus on things that matter, he ends up delivering value to humanity
  • It follows that we have an obligation to maximize the number of people with that liberated experience
    • This means keeping the population below carrying capacity so that we can experience abundance

Additional Notes

  • A society that rejects science is like a driver that puts on a blindfold, it will crash eventually
    • It would be an invitation to a dark age, where progress comes to a halt and injustice reigns
    • We must at all cost prevent this shift in our mindset
  • Cancel Culture’s ideas are foolish, but its strategy is brilliant
    • It’s very difficult to reject their deal
      • You can either join them and support them or you can resist and be stigmatized publicly (which most people won’t do)
  • Bret’s biggest mentors
    • His Ph.D. Advisor Dick Alexander
    • His undergrad advisor Bob Trivers, one of the greatest evolutionary biologist of the twentieth century
  • A meaningful live for Bret is a life in which one gives more than he takes
Freedom Pact Podcast : , ,
Notes By Giorgio Parlato

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