The Darien Gap & Postmodernism | Bret Weinstein | EP 434

The Darien Gap & Postmodernism | Bret Weinstein | EP 434

Tour update 2024 (00:00:00)

  • Jordan Peterson announces his 2024 tour, starting in February and running through June.
  • The tour will visit 51 cities in the US.
  • Peterson will discuss ideas from his forthcoming book, "We Who Wrestle with God," to be released in November 2024.

Coming up (00:00:40)

  • Peterson discusses the uneven distribution of well-being in the world.
  • He argues that a world where everything is evenly distributed punishes those who contribute more and rewards those who contribute less.

Intro (00:00:57)

  • Peterson introduces his conversation with Bret Weinstein.
  • They discuss the Darien Gap and the problem of immigration.
  • They talk about the hardships faced by immigrants traversing the jungle and the need for a more controlled and humane approach to immigration.
  • They discuss the pathologization of necessary immigration and the constitutional crisis it creates.
  • They explore the advantages and disadvantages of multiculturalism and the challenges of unifying a diverse society.
  • They delve into the concepts of the sacred and the shamanic as key elements for unifying a society.

What people aren’t paying attention to (00:03:51)

  • Weinstein shares his experience visiting the Darien Gap and witnessing the migration crisis firsthand.
  • He emphasizes the need for a final discussion about the COVID-19 disaster and the accountability of those responsible.
  • He warns of the ongoing efforts by those who orchestrated the crisis to defeat dissidents and the importance of derailing their plans.

Michael Yon, Panama, seeing the Darien Gap up close (00:05:10)

  • Bret Weinstein and Michael Yon discuss Yon's trip to Panama and the Darien Gap.
  • Yon emphasizes the importance of seeing the situation firsthand to understand the distribution of people and events.

Immigration and an “invasion” are both happening (00:07:40)

  • There is a terminology problem with describing the situation at the US border.
  • There is a large wave of people migrating north for economic reasons.
  • Migrants in transit camps express a desire for economic opportunity, not political asylum.
  • The US government has an obligation to protect the interests of its citizens, but the current system fails to address the economic impact of migration.

Why are Chinese immigrants crossing the southern border? (00:10:06)

  • Chinese immigrants are crossing the southern border in large numbers.
  • They are housed separately from other migrants.
  • Border authorities forbid access to the camp where the Chinese migrants are housed.

The Darien Gap is a roadless no man's land (00:11:35)

  • The Darien Gap is a 60-mile gap in the Pan-American Highway.
  • It is an extremely treacherous jungle that requires a great deal of skill to cross.
  • Most migrants do not have the requisite skills or equipment to cross the Darien Gap safely.
  • A human tragedy is unfolding in the Darien Gap as a result.
  • The Darien Gap has never been completed due to the difficulty of the jungle and the fact that the area is effectively ungoverned.

Chinese immigrants are housed separately and strictly off-record (00:12:57)

  • Chinese migration is occurring on a large scale, but the reasons for it and the details about the migrants are unclear.
  • The Chinese migrants are housed separately from other migrants and are not forthcoming with information about themselves or their reasons for migrating.
  • The Chinese migrants appear to be mostly young and fit men of military age, and there are no children in their camp, unlike in other migrant camps.
  • The border authorities who restrict access to the Chinese camp allow free movement and photography in other camps, suggesting a significant difference in treatment between the two groups.
  • The exact number of Chinese migrants compared to other migrants is unknown, but it is expected to increase substantially, with new camps being constructed.
  • The estimated total number of migrants, including the Chinese, is around three to three and a half million.
  • The percentage of Chinese migrants among the total migrant population is unknown.

The two migrations fuse in Panama, is one cloaking the other? (00:17:48)

  • The two migrations, one of economic migrants and the other of Chinese migrants, appear to merge in Panama.
  • The Chinese migration seems to be deliberately blending with the economic migration, potentially disguising its true purpose.
  • The authorities' different responses to the two types of camps suggest that there is a distinction between them.
  • The economic migration is highly organized and careful, while the other is disorganized and tragic.
  • Many economic migrants are robbed, raped, and even die while crossing the Darien Gap due to lack of preparation or violence.
  • The United States, as an immigrant country, does not have a clear carrying capacity or optimal migration rate.
  • It is difficult to determine how much immigration is too little, optimal, or too much.
  • There is sympathy for people moving for better economic opportunities, but there were few claims of necessity for political asylum among the migrants.
  • An intelligent discussion about an optimized rate of migration is needed.
  • Rapid influx of poverty-stricken people into a stable society can create competition for economic opportunities, especially for those already struggling.
  • Canada currently has the highest migration rate in the Western world, leading to an explosion in housing prices that disproportionately affects the poorest.

What you need to ask of those immigrating to a new country (00:23:23)

  • The US economy depends on low-cost labor, but illegal immigration benefits cartel criminals and puts migrants at great risk.
  • The US and the international community are facilitating migration without considering the migrants' desire to be part of Western society, which is a dangerous mistake.
  • The current immigration process does not screen for those who do not want to be part of the US, leading to potential integration issues.
  • Bret Weinstein discusses the Darien Gap and its relation to postmodernism, highlighting the difference between people who want to maintain their culture and those who are actively hostile to the culture they are migrating to.
  • There are two main problems: unregulated and badly planned economic migration, and the exploitation of this opportunity by people with malicious intentions.

The unobvious structure of the migration crisis (00:31:41)

  • Most migrants arrive in Quito, Ecuador, which does not require visas.
  • Migrants travel through Colombia, enter the Darien Gap, and cross into Panama.
  • Large buses constantly circulate to transport migrants north.
  • Migrants are often robbed while crossing the Darien Gap and may be given a ticket to speed them north if they cannot afford a bus ticket.
  • Countries between Panama and the United States allow migrants to pass through as long as they keep moving.
  • International organizations are creating the route and distributing information about how to move migrants.
  • The migration involves a mix of low-tech and high-tech methods, including cell phones, Chinese camps, and Western Union money transfers.
  • Panamanians are generally aware of the migration but do not have much information about it.

We were deceived with Multiculturalism (00:36:51)

  • Bret Weinstein argues that multiculturalism, which promotes the isolation of different traditions, is the opposite of Western cosmopolitanism, which is based on collaboration and economic prosperity.
  • According to Weinstein, genetic relatedness and reciprocity are the two main reasons for human collaboration, and the West is founded on the agreement to put aside lineages and collaborate for economic prosperity.
  • Weinstein views the American experiment as a successful example of this collaboration, leading to its contagious spread and becoming a model for others.
  • He emphasizes the importance of defending Western cosmopolitanism against those who fetishize differences and hinder collaboration.
  • Weinstein suggests that the lack of material opportunity in the Darien Gap region may be a contributing factor to the ongoing conflict there.

Lineage versus lineage, and why the American system is better (00:43:22)

  • The United States transformed the default social organization of kin relation into a more general appreciation for radical altruistic reciprocity, regardless of kin relation.
  • Collaboration independent of kinship has advantages due to the diversity of talents and abilities it draws upon.
  • The idea of non-kin reciprocally altruistic relationships requires metaphysical presumptions rooted in religious language, particularly those axiomatic to the Judeo-Christian tradition.
  • The American Founders codified reciprocity as the basis for society, leading to an incredible period of dynamism and invention.
  • A functional and stable globe requires the liberation to collaborate with anyone, regardless of origin, to avoid conflict and violence.
  • Bret Weinstein discusses the concept of postmodernism and its relation to the Darien Gap, a region in Panama that has historically been a barrier to trade and travel.
  • He argues that postmodernism, with its emphasis on diversity and difference, can lead to a society where there is no motivation for trade or collaboration, as everyone is seen as essentially the same.
  • Weinstein proposes a "hard-headed liberal" approach that seeks to evenly distribute opportunity rather than wealth, allowing individuals to rise out of poverty and contribute to society.

Using large language models to map out abstracted connections (00:53:08)

  • Large language models can map out semantic space by finding the smallest set of words that can be substituted for a concept.
  • Each concept has a cloud of associated ideas, and these clouds can be mapped to create a semantic web.
  • Cultures can be placed on a continuum from kin-based orientation to abstract reciprocal altruism based on the semantic web of their conceptualizations.
  • The most difficult problems of integration arise when trying to integrate the most kin-based systems.
  • Psychopaths who take advantage of the ethos of kin-based systems may be the most difficult people to integrate.
  • The story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible illustrates the idea of increasing the size of the circle of collaboration.
  • As societies become larger, the mythology that fuels them encompasses the idea of expanding collaboration.

Culture is a means to an end, why evil must be defined through narrative (00:56:39)

  • Culture is a tool used to achieve an end goal.
  • The end goal of culture is to ensure the survival and continuation of one's genes into the future.
  • To achieve this, culture must be memorable, transmissible, resistant to corruption, motivating, stabilizing, and comprehensible to everyone.
  • Bret Weinstein's response to Sam Harris's question about whether he believes in the resurrection of Jesus exemplifies this evolutionary perspective.
  • Weinstein's answer, "I behave as if I do," reflects the idea that culture is a means to an end, and that the end goal is to ensure the survival and continuation of one's genes.

Sex is only a fraction of reproduction, sacrifice and true continuance (01:02:35)

  • Reproduction is not just about sex.
  • Sex is a part of reproduction, but it is not the only part.
  • For humans, reproduction involves a higher order process of maximally inclusive reciprocal altruism.
  • Sacrifice is a form of work that involves giving up present pleasures or power for long-term gain.
  • Human sacrifice is a form of work that is established in the story of Cain and Abel.
  • Abraham's behavior is characterized by a sacrificial attitude, which is a form of work.
  • The story of Abraham develops the idea of sacrificing what you love best to facilitate further adaptation.
  • The most appropriate form of sacrifice that guarantees the best possible outcome is the full and radical voluntary sacrifice of the self in relationship to the highest possible good.
  • This idea is encoded in the Christian narrative and is a limit story that investigates all dimensions of potential self-sacrifice.

Perceptual bias, religious belief, and the practice of science (01:07:01)

  • Perception is influenced by our values, and postmodernists argue that there is no value-free perception.
  • Science can reveal unexpected and undesirable truths, but it must be practiced correctly and guided by an ethos of altruism.
  • The perverse incentives in modern science can corrupt it and turn it into a form of corruption.
  • Historically, genuine scientists were motivated by the pursuit of long-term truth, which served their interests by making them immortal.
  • Universities in the past were like monasteries, conflating objective descriptions with the narratives that structured their ethos.
  • People like Dawkins and Harris fail to distinguish between the structure of maps of meaning and the objective facts presented by science.
  • Religious belief deserves an evolutionary explanation, and dismissing it as a pathology overlooks its significance.
  • The religious landscape is complex and paradoxical and should be studied like a biologist would study a strange natural phenomenon.

Defining the religious through the hierarchy of dependency (01:15:08)

  • Religious ideas are fundamental concepts upon which other propositions depend for their validity.
  • The depth of a religious concept refers to the level of dependency of other concepts on it.
  • Emotions associated with religious phenomena are elicited when things move in the depths of the hierarchy of dependency.
  • Religious individuals are more likely to resist tyranny and bullies due to their belief in an eternal reward that outweighs any pain inflicted by their enemies.
  • Religious scientists have unique ways of holding their beliefs in mind to avoid conflicts with analytical thinking.
  • The relationship between science and religion in the West ranges from literal belief to a remote connection.
  • The freedom to hold religious beliefs without direct conflict with analytical thinking is seen as a strength of Western society.
  • The separation of church and state allows for a balance between stability and experimentation, with some individuals seeking more stability and others prioritizing experimentation within a defined framework.
  • Increased experimentation may lead to greater entropy and existential anxiety but also allows for a broader range of exploration and discovery.

The hierarchy of repairability, the sacred and the shamanistic (01:23:33)

  • The molecular alterations that facilitate mutations are random, but there is a hierarchy of repairability.
  • There is a core set of foundational principles in all conceptual structures, which serve as the deepest mechanisms of orientation.
  • Experimentation can take place on the fringe of these core principles, as seen in religious traditions and the genome's clonal selection.
  • Variability and trait openness are essential for progress, but there must also be a core set of axiomatic principles that are rarely violated.
  • The relationship between ideas is analogous to the relationship that governs mutation, with a core set of principles and experimentation on the fringe.
  • The story of Aza touching the Ark of the Covenant and being struck dead by God highlights the concept of certain things being dangerous to touch, regardless of good intentions.
  • David expresses unhappiness about Aza's death, considering it unjust.

The Omega Principle (01:29:56)

  • Culture is one of several epigenetic mechanisms.
  • Epigenetic phenomena are more powerful than genes because they are more rapidly adapting but subservient to genes' motivation.
  • Epigenetic mechanisms abide by the Omega principle: they serve genetic ends.
  • Religious belief revival may lead to a unique moment where humans can prioritize cognitive capabilities (goodness, insight, compassion) over genetic ends.
  • Tragedies of history recur due to human predispositions that emerge unexpectedly.
  • Experimenting with fundamental changes like prioritizing cognitive capabilities over genetic ends may be risky but necessary to avoid repeating historical tragedies.
  • Technology, not just weaponry, poses risks.

We are somewhere entirely new in history (01:32:52)

  • Carl Jung believed that technological advancements have outpaced ethical understanding, creating an imbalance.
  • Postmodernist thinkers like Foucault and Derrida argue that power is the only driving force, used for short-term pleasure.
  • Traditional evolutionary solutions, such as the extinction of those with flawed belief systems, are no longer viable in the current global situation, as exemplified by the Darien Gap.
  • Consciousness evolved as a tool to address novelty and foresee consequences, offering a way to navigate complex problems without relying on extinction events.
  • The challenges observed in places like the Darien Gap emphasize the need for collective consciousness and a shared purpose to overcome global challenges and create a better future.
  • Bret Weinstein encourages viewers to examine political and economic events within the context of the broader culture war.
  • The culture war is causing societal division.
  • Jordan Peterson expresses gratitude to Bret Weinstein and the audience for their time and attention.

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