Today’s guest on The Psychology Podcast is Daniel Schmachtenberger. Daniel is a founding member of The Consilience Project, aimed at improving public sensemaking and dialogue.
The throughline of his interests has to do with ways of improving the health and development of individuals and society, with a virtuous relationship between the two as a goal.
Towards these ends, he’s had particular interest in the topics of catastrophic and existential risk, civilization and institutional decay and collapse as well as progress, collective action problems, social organization theories, and the relevant domains in philosophy and science.
Motivated by the belief that advancing collective intelligence and capacity is foundational to the integrity of any civilization, and necessary to address the unique risks we currently face given the intersection of globalization and exponential technology, he has spoken publicly on many of these topics, hoping to popularize and deepen important conversations and engage more people in working towards their solutions. Many of these can be found here.
This episode discusses a wide range of consciousness-raising issues, including the biology of dysfunction, the philosophy and scientific implications of creating systemic cultural and personal changes, the difference between nootropics and smart drugs, the future of cognitive assessments and the quantified self, the future of customized medical and wellness protocols, aspects of human nature that impede compassion and kindness, how changing the genome will change our entire conception of human nature, what we can do to predispose humans toward perspective taking, emotional resilience, and greater empathy, and how to make a scientifically commensurate ethics and existentialism. As you can see, this episode covers quite the gamut. Enjoy the show, and please join in the discussion below!