39 - Hunter Maats (The Future of Education & Knowledge Transmission)

Mon Aug 28 2017 (01:24:04)

This week’s guest is Hunter Maats, host of the Mixed Mental Arts Podcast and co-author of The Straight-A Conspiracy.   We talk about the future of education and human collaboration – moving past a world of routine factory-worker indoctrination and the “insane cargo cult” of the academic system, and into a new model for the transmission of knowledge that suits a truly planetary culture.





The value of myth, ritual, and other deeply-ingrained but often-maligned premodern human activities.


How to make sense of authority, expertise, and accreditation in a world where the dominance of academia (and the legitimacy of so many other institutions) is losing hold.


How do we structure a “global village?”


What is post-academic education?  What comes after the fall of the Ivory Tower?  How do we recruit premodern impulses into the project of contemporary life without repressing magic, ritual, and myth?


We also talk a lot of smack on Richard Dawkins for being the totally irrational pope of Anti-Religion.


Hunter mentions my article on the evolution of creativity:





“The walls of the Ivory Tower have been falling down for the last thirty years.  There are now 60 million scientific papers, 130 million books.  It’s literally too much information for a tiny cadre of individuals to try and make sense of.  It’s going to take seven and a half billion people to really make sense and draw signal out of that noise.”


“If you’re reading a blog post, you’re getting an hour or two of distilled thought.  If you’re reading a book, then you’re getting hundreds or thousands of hours of distilled thought.  The question is, what is your information diet, and what are you sharing, and what are you engaging with?”


“You should structure a global village a lot like you structure an actual village…”


“Biologically, we want ritual, we want myth, we want belonging, we want a sense of embeddedness.  BUT, we have all this cool stuff now…”


“People like [Richard] Dawkins, even though they bang on about reason all the time, are in my assessment not very reflective individuals.”


“The flag of science has, for a really long time, been in the hands of narrow minded bigots who have drawn a line around their tribe and said that all other tribes, which they call ‘religion,’ or some kind of primitive savagery, are worthless.  And I have no desire of living that way, and I don’t consider what they do ‘science.’  Because science is about changing your mind in light of all available evidence.  It’s not about petty tribalism.”




George Lakoff

Richard Dawkins

Marie Kondo

Adam Smith

Yuval Harari

Kevin Kelly

Richard Doyle

David Loye

Charles Darwin

Alfred Russell Wallace