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Nathaniel Eliot (#6)

Reader feedback, animal consciousness
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Transcript

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Happy to have Nathaniel Elliot, a long-time reader of the blog. He comes on the show to push back on some of the claims about consciousness and shoot the shit about how the Old Testament was constructed on a lively bed of Near East mythology.

Note: I would have liked to publish EToC v3 this week, but there are apparently some technical issues posting 30,000 words on Substack. Will put it up once that gets sorted!

  1. Introduction:

    • Host Andrew Cutler welcomes Nathaniel Elliot, a software professional and a regular reader of Andrew's blog (part of the group that came when Scott Alexander linked the Snake Cult).

  2. Consciousness Beyond Humans:

    • Nathaniel challenges the idea that consciousness is unique to humans, referencing the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness.

    • Discussion on the differences in consciousness among humans and animals.

  3. Primary vs. Secondary Consciousness:

    • Nathaniel debates the clear division between primary and secondary consciousness, suggesting it's more of a gradual evolution.

    • He compares evolutionary events to failures in complex software systems.

  4. The Evolution of Human Cognition:

    • Nathaniel discusses the role of mimesis (imitation) in human cognitive development.

    • Examines the development of agriculture and its impact on human cognition and culture.

  5. Mythology and Ancient Cultures:

    • Analysis of ancient mythology, including worship of snake and mother goddesses.

    • Discussion on the evolution of monotheism and its influence in historical and cultural contexts.

  6. Cultural Cognition in Human Evolution:

    • Nathaniel emphasizes the role of group thinking and societal learning over individual cognition in human evolution.

  7. Interconnectivity in Human Evolution:

    • Final thoughts on how cultural, genetic, and cognitive evolution are interconnected in shaping human consciousness and history.

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Vectors of Mind
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