5: Julian Jaynes And The Origins Of Consciousness

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Hosted by
Will Jarvis

What’s on your mind?

This week Will and I review the work of Julian Jaynes and his exploration of how the human mind may have developed and evolved over the last several thousand years. Is mental illness an illness at all or merely an expression of brain function that would have been common in the past?  What are some of the different ways our minds may operate to successfully navigate human interactions?  What is bicameralism and how does it work? How about the role of consciousness? Interested in the book? You can purchase it at our affiliate link on Amazon here.


hi i’m will jarvis and i’m will’s dad we both love and are fascinated by stories stories about people stories about places and stories about events our stories give shape and form to life they give texture color and rhythm to the blank canvas that every new day presents to us and they do that by informing us of our past as a directional marker for our future okay will it’s narrative time tell me a story so what’s on your mind today well today i thought we could talk about julian jane’s the origins of consciousness and the bicameral mind sounds like a great idea tell us a little bit about julian james well just to set the table at a very high level we first got interested in this topic because of a book review by scott alexander from the now not in existence anymore this could have changed by the time of publication the podcast blog slate star codex which that’s a whole other topic we can talk about later the whole saga with the new york times and boxing and lots of exciting things going on there i’m sure we’ll talk about that later but anyway scott wrote a post um revealing julian jane’s best known book the origins of consciousness um and the breakdown of the bicameral mind which i find very interesting uh it really highlights it kind of goes along with the theme of this podcast around metaphor and language shaping our understanding of reality at a very very detailed level i would say yeah julian james on a personal level is a very interesting character because he spent nearly his entire life developing one idea and writing the book and um and and it does have so much to do with storytelling and narrative and communication because of the whole idea that he developed was that our consciousness and our mind and our brain development over time has been due to language

definitely i i think it’s interesting so julian james was a psychologist he studied at yale mcgill and harvard not that that’s super interesting where he studied just his ideas i think are much more interesting he’s born to a unitarian minister and his work is is quite interesting i i always find it it fascinating i i think we have this view of you know our lived experience as being common across all of humanity so i think it’s important to note some some of our listeners may even experience this and have never realized this not everyone has a inner monologue this is kind of a rare it’s okay i’ll cut that out it’s not kind of rare this is uh not universal not everyone has some people think of pictures some people think in all kinds of different ways but i think that’s quite interesting just to to realize that it was news to me i always assume that everyone’s mind works like my mind where you just have this internal monologue that goes on right but and you were the one that enlightened me that was different and that had it was during our discussion of of james that uh that came up and i still don’t know a lot about it i’m just fascinated

definitely it’s it’s super interesting uh human experience is much uh much more dynamic and just even our liver experience is much it’s it’s very different than i think what you people even realize right between individuals a lot of individual individual variation so um julian jane starts his book with what he thinks our mind was like before consciousness arose and he starts it out with a discussion of the bicameral mind and you think maybe we could talk a little bit about the anatomy of the brain that might help sure i think that would that would really help yeah so and to be to really make it simple and a lot of people probably know quite a bit about this but uh there’s a brain stem sort of the bottom of your brain and that regulates things like respiration in your heart rate and those kind of bodily functions and then there’s the cerebellum that’s sort of behind that a little bit and it controls your motor functions and then thought and reasoning and those things take place in your cerebrum which is the top part of your brain and it’s divided into two hemispheres the left and the right and held together by the corpus callosum which is just a little band of tissue that holds the two hemispheres together so that’s the anatomy the only other part of anatomy that i think that might be interesting and this is really important to the question is wernicke’s area and broca’s area which control the processing of language and the production of language written language and spoken language now having said that what’s interesting about the bicameral mind what is interesting about the volcano what’s interesting to me is like i’m right-handed and the 90 of people that are right-handed wernicke’s area and broca’s areas on the left side and if on the corresponding area on the right side the brain is sort of dormant doesn’t appear to do much of anything so you got a left and right hemisphere you’ve got wernicke’s area in broca’s area and they don’t appear to be doing anything on the right side on the left side they’re real active in language and which we’ve talked about is so important to us and in the the theory of bicameralism what julian jane’s thought is those two inactive dormant areas on the right side of my brain since i’m right-handed um he thinks that 3 000 years ago um what was going on then was that those areas on the right side of my brain were talking to those corresponding areas on the left side and giving them instructions

through auditory hallucinations and that’s sort of how bicameralism works as far as my understanding is it’s kind of the gods talking to you yeah the other thing i thought was interesting about that was that um they made there’s a point made that schizophrenia auditory hallucinations would work like that which makes you think that maybe people that are schizophrenic sort of have a more bicameral mind interesting interesting so i guess uh charting the course out of jane’s big idea is that there’s we used to imagine ourselves as being one way and now it’s completely different it’s completely different so have you have you had uh have you tried to imagine what having a bicameral mind would be like having something something that is envisioning your mind as something as someone else is someone ordering yourself or to go around yeah it does make me think that when people think they hear god or god is speaking to them that might be what that is could actually be that that’s interesting and then it would be very real and explain a lot of things it did explain a lot to me when you know about um not only the schizophrenic part but um uh how pretty in many thousands well not many thousands several thousand years ago that might have been the way that people’s minds worked and they they would describe it as the gods speaking to them and then they would just do whatever the voice told them i imagine since right really no right yeah so so what are some particular objections we could think about to this idea

i found um i found it one of the most intriguing ideas i’ve run across in quite some time because it explains so much that um appears to be sort of out in the gray area maybe out left field a little bit like schizophrenia or uh like religious prophets hearing voices getting commands from god right and there’s even things i’ve become aware of and i’m not sure where i’m aware of these things from like um that god is within us which would explain that too right it would really be us talking to ourselves right so kind of when you’re when you’re in a quaker meeting and you’re led to speak maybe it’s your communication from the broker’s region of your brain too i think especially the more vivid it would seem to you the more likely that would be and it also makes me wonder you know this entire idea seems like it’s a process of evolution to me and if that’s true then those dormant areas probably still work some although they may not dominate our thinking anymore they probably still so if you were you could block the extraneous noise of life out enough then you might hear those things again so yeah it’s it uh it it explains many things in life that i’d never really considered before interesting yeah what about you what do you think about that so i think uh you know your best particular objections against some of jane’s ideas would be well if we go um and there’s some things we haven’t quite covered yet which which will help i think with this so uh a lot of jane’s ideas are this idea that there was this break where we realized that um you know the voices were actually inside of us they’re actually you know this is us this is i you know i am the one who is the inner monologue if that makes sense um and that had to do with the bronze aids collapse seeing an archaeological record coming along coming along coming along and suddenly there’s this complete break you know what caused it not quite sure but you know mass migrations famine a lot of bad things going on people moving around and the question is well if you come into contact with other people that are not in your you know local tribe your local kind of village and they have their own gods that are talking to them and you look and you’re like wow and and suddenly start thinking well maybe it’s all just internal it’s not quite that there’s someone else talking to me in my head if you know if they have their own person so maybe it’s exposure to other people that suddenly um makes you realize wow this is um it’s a bit self-referential if that makes sense yeah james is has really developed this i it obvious it was obvious that he spent probably a lifetime thinking about this and um he’s got all kinds of historical references um and ideas why this might be true and it seemed to center around about 3 000 years ago at the end of the bronze age and to put that in perspective a little bit there was the stone age then there was the bronze age and that’s when people started using metal for uh weapons probably primarily tools so that’s how that’s how we demarcate these different areas is in the archaeological record what do we see that still remains so stone tools to metal working bronze and vintage iron is it takes another leap and and the bronze age of course when we started using a lot of tools and weapons like that i did cause a big upheaval in the world things change rapidly for a lot of reasons they think there’s some environmental influence that could be true too but if it if the big influence was the bronze age and using um tools and using weapons as they had never been used before then that would have caused a great upheaval in society and you could see why those stresses uh would favor some evolution in humans so that makes sense to me so that’s that would be a real advantage so i i think the biggest kind of

counters we could look forward to jane’s work that may make us question some of the ideas would be

you know what what if we went and we talked to some fairly uncontacted people so or or people that don’t interact very much with the modern world so maybe son bushman or you know someone in the deep in the amazon uncontacted people um what’s the island off indonesia north sentinel islanders you know people that just do not you know you can’t go talk to them not allowed but if we could you know and we could ask them what their lived experience is like and if it doesn’t line up with this that would be that would that would lead us to have questions about the idea that this this is the way things actually happened it would and it also raises the question um over a long enough period of time would we have developed consciousness in any event was there is there just such an evolutionary advantage that that would have occurred i think so i think so well and one thing you know this does tie into um i was recently reading a book by garrett jones called hive mind it’s the idea how you know if you look at you know average iq scores across different countries um the average iq score is much more predictive of total um gdp per capita standard of living than um just an individual’s score is um because it just it factors up so much more so the the output of the united states is so much bigger than the output of um you know what’s a what’s a good country example that we can mention because then several you know quite a few countries in the third world and it’s it’s factored a lot more maybe there’s something to do with having um smarter people around you at all times they you know they just it’s just the average civil service is so much better if you know bureaucrats tend to you know not accept bribes they engage in more repeated games they behave better better and prisoners dilemmas they’re less likely to defect it’s better for all of society so much more matters more that on average are people that people you interact with on a daily basis um smarter than versus just like an individual’s intelligence mental horsepower shall we say

so what this leaves me so i was reading the book about um hive mind quite good and he goes into kind of a deep dive of um the flynn effect actually do you know what the fun effect is i do not so jim flynn was a philosopher he’s a philosopher i think he’s still alive from new zealand he had this idea that um you know he looked at you know this hereditarian idea around intelligence that it’s all your genetics that’s all that matters and he said and he looked at he said you know i just don’t i do not believe that you know what i’m going to look at the data and actually try to and prove that this is not really the case and so he looked at all the data and he noticed if you look over time um iq scores uh keep increasing they keep increasing it’s called the flint effect and this is um been it’s a fairly robust effect over time and they just keep getting higher and higher and higher and and he’s looking at this and he’s wondering why does this happen is this happening you know it could be better nutrition iodine less lead exposure you know quite a few things we can think about there but it could also be and his idea is is that we’re getting better at abstraction so you know if you dropped you and i his example is you if you dropped you and i off in new guinea and he said go and figure out how to live we would probably have quite a hard time figuring out how to cultivate you know local foods how to hunt et cetera it would not be a very easy thing but those people are very good at it um although we may be currently better than at abstraction so maybe exposure to the modern world makes you better at abstraction and i feel like jane’s work is kind of closely related to that it’s uh the more abstract things we work on over time the better you get at it this is a very similar thing right so just being exposed like creating this podcast we have to think through okay what are we going to talk about you know what’s interesting you know it’s very abstract activity and the more you do it the better you get at it that makes sense i’m sure our listeners will recognize that the podcast seems to get better you know kind of it’s probably asymptotic like we have some kind of ceiling of maybe it’s like we’re not quite joe rogan right but you know we’ll get better over time and um i think that his work is it’s similar to that and that you know encountering more complex problems civilization ideas like that um and more complex interactions with other people and strangers lends itself to requiring more um actual thinking and more um the kind of kind of thinking of oneself as an individual more to be successful that seems to make sense very cool so i think that’s um kind of what we got for today okay that that was interesting and uh so i’ll introduce you as will jarvis and i’m will’s dad and we’ll see you on the next episode thanks all right here we are with part two of julian james in the bicameral mind which we discussed at some length in the previous episode and now we’re gonna concentrate on the second part of that concept consciousness that’s right so i guess we could get started by defining consciousness you know people have spent a lot of time thinking about that and what it means but to me it’s sort of easy to boil down to sort of self-awareness that’s what consciousness is what do you think so consciousness ooh yeah so good lord where to begin there’s a lot there’s a lot i i think in this context what we’re talking about is is recognizing one’s thoughts as one’s own if that makes sense yeah and so you know if the bicameral mind was a sort of a mechanism of one side of your brain giving commands to the other side of your brain consciousness is just in self-awareness is you just realizing you’re there right that’s right uh like jane says you know the difference between what others see of us and our sense of our inner selves and the deep feelings that sustain it yeah now why would that be advan an advantage if we were gonna form more closely knit societies if we were going to be involved with a more global world with a world outside of our own sort of imagination or self i think one of the biggest things there’s well there’s two trains i think are very important i think abstraction is very important understanding abstraction and the second point is um self-efficacy understanding that you have the ability to make change in the world you’ve got to understand that you are an independent entity first to be able to act in the world i think that’s very important i think it’s very difficult to affect the world if you do not understand who you are that’s interesting level what role does um an increased ability to communicate have to do with those things well i think to be able to effectively well i think to be able to more effectively communicate and perform complex tasks you have to have a theory of mind of other people so understanding so first you have to understand that you have you yourself are a discreet entity that’s very important the second thing that is very important in any kind of repeated games and games here i mean any kind of human interactions kind of in the game theory sense you need to be able to imagine yourself as another person so let’s say it’s like if we’re playing chess the best chess players what do they do they look at the board they look at where they are their current positions then they look at their opponent and they imagine themselves they have to be able to visualize themselves as their opponent and what they would do it’s a very so it’s very it’s multi-level but it’s very in any repeated interaction you need to understand yourself and you need to understand the other person that’s i think probably exactly right and i hadn’t really considered about the role of communication and self-awareness in that regard but if we’re gonna form a society a greater society if we’re going to be able to interact with other kinds of people you’ve got to be able to appreciate their perspective that’s right you need to very deeply understand their perspective to be successful it’s it’s interesting i’m not quite sure i’ll have to have a child psychologist on some time and we can talk about at what point theory of mind switches on because it’s not inbuilt it doesn’t happen automatically there’s there’s some point where kids switch over from you know kind of the whole world is everything in your mind to oh wow there’s other people with discrete experiences in the world as well like this person has experiences just like i do that’s a really big jump and you know there’s probably some people who still adults who have not even made that jump i think there are adults that don’t make quite a few probably and it sort of makes sense like we in the in the last episode we talked about schizophrenics and how bicameralism would explain their experience and um so

this sort of explains why it would be such an evolutionary advantage to be self-aware because it would lead you to appreciate others that’s right which and then that would be just fundamentally important for large groups that’s right and even more important well in playing political games and also in conflict

yeah or especially probably avoiding conflict we’re an avoiding conflict and avoiding conflict would be another evolutionary advantage that’s correct that’s correct so the further we go down that road the more important communication and self-awareness and appreciation of other people become that’s right that’s very interesting

it is it’s also interesting to me on another level and like i was mentioning there’s kind of two main i mean things i pull out of this uh abstraction is the second one so the ability to abstract

in your mind different problems and take it from not just okay what’s right here in front of me but actually manipulate things change things use your imagination build different models of the world you know that practice is very important to creating building all kinds of different technology not just you know social technology as well as actual physical technology is consciousness the key to being able to utilize abstract thought for abstraction yeah i think it’s very important i would i has a hesitate to say it’s it’s everything because you know i’m sure there’s edge cages i haven’t thought about but it is very it is clearly foundational and that you need to understand yourself how your how you work before you can have a theory of that before you can actually act upon anything successfully i mean just just for you know this is almost a null example but i understand my basketball skill i didn’t understand my basketball skill and i understand there are hard limits on my basketball skill if i’m going to successfully affect the world by becoming an nba player that would be a complete waste of time because that would be a complete misunderstanding of my current abilities even my abilities ceilings i mean we’ve got this modern you know idea that you can do anything well but like of course clearly they’re hard limits you know i’ve not i don’t have this crazy vertical i don’t you know you’re not seven feet tall which is seven feet tall you know exactly exactly funny enough i’ve read an interesting fact that about 20 of all men in the united states over seven feet tall playing the nba i’ve read that before too so essentially if you’re tall enough you can play in the nbas i think that’s so i guess what that means is your chances of being worth many millions of dollars rise dramatically if you’re a seven feet tall yes that one almost physical right yes although there’s lots of trade-offs right and there’s lots of trade-offs there’s lots of trade-offs now there’s health problems that come along with it and all kinds of things but that that’s that’s interesting how many different how much the world opens when we become conscious self-aware not it doesn’t have to do with just us so much it does have to do a lot with our success our ability to manipulate the world um but how it affects other people as well that’s right yes i think it’s it’s very important on well obviously on many different levels i i think on on the level of actually enacting change or progress or doing anything productive it’s very important to understand exactly where you are and also try and understand what the world is and that’s a very abstract thing what are they what’s the what’s the meme 4d chess it’s like 40 chess trying to figure that out so consciousness doesn’t deal with us just knowing things about us it’s about knowing where we are in the world how we fit into the world right i think it’s a second order effect of consciousness okay very important effect that’s interesting and getting back to the anatomy side a little bit of what consciousness is there are gamma bands or gamma waves in your brain the neural oscillations and where those occur during consciousness

essentially engages most of the brain it lights up most of the brain when that happens so being self-aware just leads to unbelievable brain activity and one of the things that i read about that was that schizophrenics will have impairment of that particular brand band of neural oscillation which sort of goes back to their they may be much more bicameral than others it’s very interesting uh it’s um so so i guess leaving us back into jane’s work one of the big takeaways that i find from the work is that there’s this clear break this clear break between bicameralism and understanding you know yourself as a this discreet entity that you know is introspection so you know he tries to um provide examples of this in literature you know he talks about the old testament and you know there’s there’s actually um and a lot of scholars say well if you read the epic of gilgamesh you know there’s clearly elements of introspection in that and you know i don’t know i haven’t read the epic of gilgamesh since high school so i couldn’t quite tell you but um it is interesting you know i’m always skeptical of big theories like this that you know um but but there is some kind of um creatures that that you can give to whenever there’s a cult following like i love movies with a cult following and i love you know this like secret this group that has a small secret and that jane’s acolytes i feel like are much like this where you know you know they’ve found something that they really believe is fundamental there may be holes in it but it’s a very complex topic and it’s very there’s a lot going on there’s a lot of different angles there could be things that are correct about it in some instances that are not correct in others and and context matters a lot here i think that’s exactly right and that’s one of the things i got out of reading some about james is

it’s not you can’t say precisely i don’t think and there seems to be a lot of controversy about like suddenly we went from bicameralism to consciousness right and it still seems to be even even if there was a shift 3000 years ago at the end of the bronze age that really favored consciousness over bicameralism there seems to be a lot of bicameralism in the world today so it’s not like we all are the same we’re all similar and our minds may work very i’ve always been aware that our minds work very differently but there could be just fundamental differences in our our minds in some ways we’ll we think people’s minds might be pathologic and they might actually be fairly normal if we jump back under the circumstances right yeah i think that’s a really good that’s a really good point is that another way you could frame it is that people that could abstract like this and introspect like this suddenly got rewarded a lot more so instead of you know there’s this whole um instead of a real break with everybody it’s that in general on average people became the median person was much more likely to be able to introspect like this because it was more advantageous to do so yeah there would be huge advantages in life to be able to do that and one of the physical manifestations of some of this is they realize this is true the corpus callosum which holds the two hemispheres together if it’s thinner then you’re able to uh imagine your creativity is greater your artistic ability is greater apparently there’s more fascial crosstalk between the left and right hemispheres so and that that sort of again it seems to be some evidence that all of those things are an advantage and you know it probably may well have led to the rise of consciousness and i agree being able to do those things is just an enormous advantage in life especially yeah especially in the modern world i think it’s it becomes even more true as kind of society progresses and things become more virtual and less physical you know there’s a it’s interesting you know i was listening to a podcast by the hoover institution and it was with um ronald reagan’s speech writer whose name peter robinson i believe and peter thiel and he talks about you know there’s just been this big shift to interior interiority you know it’s like a therapy culture video games um you know our world does not look very different than it did in the 60s just physically so physically went to a neighborhood in the 60s and 70s you know there might be a flat screen tv but still a tv the living room would look very similar to even this room we’re sitting and i’m trying to pick out items that would be different the computer the computers um that’s pretty much it i think that’s the only thing that would be different so almost all innovation has shifted to these um items that are kind of interior to our minds introspective and um people almost avoid um kind of making change in the world almost there’s much less of that that makes me wonder if they’re being advantaged to being introspective if that will select out even more and more in the future first of all which you would sort of guess that’s probably the truth that’s what that would be especially with coved yeah you know it’s just yeah that kind of advantage and then the second thing is where do we go from here like there may have been a big leap going from being bicameral to conscious what’s the next big leap there probably is one there’ll probably some advantage to the way we think that we’ll make us change again definitely possible you know it’s interesting it makes me want to explore this topic further and really see what other big shifts are possible are there other shifts that have happened yes or no yes or no these are all kind of testable things right that you know and we talked about this on the last episode i i think this does kind of bring to mind how disparate individuals experiences can be in just ways we don’t realize you know i have a friend he’s color blind and even that is that’s an odd thing to imagine right and that’s a very minor change is being colorblind that’s a very minor change but there’s always this huge range of experiences in ways that are very difficult to kind of fathom for someone that does not um experience the world in that way in fact it’s probably impossible to even really understand you can conceptually kind of understand that it’s happening but it’s very difficult to to um to really imagine it you know dan brown it may have been his last book the god that did the da vinci code and those things i think his most recent book was about um how man would merge with artificial intelligence and you know the artificial intelligence in itself is just you know we could do episodes and episodes about that one subject but um there’s just so many ways in which we could we could change in the future over the next several thousand years that’s true and one of the big shifts i see i’ll call this out now there’s a great book called age of m by robin hansen you know i got that i got to have lunch with him at a conference about a year ago pre-coveted and it’s fascinating to talk to him about some of these these issues but he um he his model is the most discreet kind of real model i’ve seen of artificial intelligence so the idea is like well what’s the most straightforward path to ai and now we’ve got gpg3 that just came out and this so maybe we’re completely off base of this but i do find this to be the most compelling he’s like well the most straightforward path would be we get really good imaging technology we can completely image your brain and then we just create a virtual simulation of it it’s very straightforward you know the versus all the other ai paths i see this is the most uh this i can grok the best is the easiest for me to understand and i think it makes the most sense because it’s kind of a straightforward path it’s just well better imaging technology you know we can already kind of do this with worms a little bit there’s actually a whole project about this is like modeling a worms brain um and if you get it at a low enough level it may be the quantum level we don’t know you’re able to um model the brain completely so the idea is you create these emulations these brain emulations and you put them on computers and you can run them faster so we could you know train up a you know the best nuclear engineer in the world in like five minutes hit go he’s trained work on this problem so suddenly so this is the idea this is the next big leap um and then the next question is is do humans become obsolete well it’s like yes at some point because you know human society shifts to these just emulations of humans not real physical humans because you know it’s costly to have a body it’s fragile you know you can back up an emulation at any time um and there still may be a place for humans as weird kind of um you know like a museum kind of relic right like physical humans but emulations will for the most part the one encouraging thing about this is they’ll they would behave like humans so you know a lot of people worry about you know paper clip problems you know what if the we create this ai and it’s all powerful and it decides we’re going to turn everything in the universe into paper clips and it goes crazy you know i’m fairly skeptical of things like that because i don’t know how we would design i don’t see a good pathway for designing um an intelligence that doesn’t operate like we do because it’s the only intelligence we barely know we remotely understand is our own so a related subject what do you see is the difference between consciousness and sentience you brought up earthworms you brought up a i i think consciousness is says the athens it’s difficult i think conscious is just the ability to recognize that you’re sent in that makes sense yeah i think that’s right and uh so it’s it’s really interesting to you know there’s a lot of people i think there’s many different ways this could happen some people think it’s just a raw horsepower number so if you just have enough neurons and it’s complex enough this is like a complexity argument then you’re conscious

it seems odd to me i don’t know um there’s there’s other thoughts too you know you could be kind of well there’s this idea of pan psychism where our brains are kind of just like receivers for consciousness and if you have a receiver that’s built the right way you can kind of you know recognize this but you know and then jane’s has kind of like a physical explanation kind of more of a um which is interesting i don’t know it’s a very difficult topic all and i often times often wonder how valuable the topic really is to cover i mean it’s very interesting right it’s like super interesting but uh and on on the ground practicality terms you’re making the world better for people i don’t know how effective or how useful it is yeah i think that’s probably true but we we that is you know uh popular culture when does when does a.i become sentient well probably when it becomes conscious it’s probably about right it’s probably about that point so what does that require well we don’t know exactly but we have an idea that maybe we were not conscious in the past that we were bicameral and just environmental pressures gave us a you know darwin there was just an evolutionary advantage to being conscious um and so if it’s that simple then uh with time you would think that a.i would it would probably just occur whether the chance or circumstance or maybe ai’s subject to you know those evolutionary pressures as well right yes and well it is it definitely is subject to evolutionary pressure right any ai we create is subject to our own evolutionary pressure now right um yeah but then again i don’t know at the end of the day does it really matter that the ai is sentient i think yeah that’s a good point i don’t think it does i think it’s just one of the states i think in humans it doesn’t really matter i mean if if a schizophrenic is more an expression of a bicameral mind does that really matter what we think it does now because we think there’s something wrong right and there might be something i mean we would like them to um be less troubled by their position exactly that’s what we would really like but if their minds work like that and they weren’t troubled by it and you’ve mentioned that there’s many ways for minds to work you don’t don’t have to have this monologue going on in your head that’s right you know much lighter wider range that people realize yeah and that and it works it works a lot of different ways essentially this reminds me of a talk i had with a very well-known uh child psychologist so i have this this line of questioning i love to ask all academics and it’s what what kind of piece of knowledge do you understand from studying your field that most people like the average person would would not really realize or not you know think of on a regular basis and he said the most interesting thing to him was that you know you really don’t understand how much children understand they understand essentially everything you know everyone talks to kids and this is actually a huge pet peeve of mine is when people talk to children like they’re not adults you know i think it’s important to frame children as small adults not um and you know they that have not been exposed very much versus like a completely separate class of people because just you know they’re still developing like theory of mind things of that matter nature but essentially and they may have less horsepower than most adults have mental horsepower but that’s coming online as well just a very interesting fact and i wonder if ai’s are similar in that respect that’s an interesting thought and if children don’t have the the horsepower that we do their minds seem to be much more plastic and flexibly much more plastic yeah so there’s less crystallized more fluid yeah definitely so um yeah that’s true very cool okay well have we wrapped julian james i think we have rap julian james i’ll include some some readings that we found useful kind of in in going through this and kind of some information about the bronze age collapse as well from the last episode in the show notes so you can um pervade them and get your liking okay good well another episode of narratives thanks well that’s our show for today i’m will jarvis and i’m will’s dad join us next week for more narratives

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