First Principles and First Values

This is Part 1 of an interview about the book “First Principles and First Values” just released.

Some (paraphrased) kernels:
“A new story of value that will generate a new humanity”
“Revisioning/Reconstructing/Evolving value theory at the core of culture”
“Intrinsic value exists.” “The cosmos reaches for value.” (We live in an) “erotic universe
animated by desire” “Desire by its very nature discloses value”

“The collapse of value is the primary cause of the metacrisis.” (The loss of value in culture traced through stages of development, primarily orange-rational and green-pomo.)

“Intimacy disorders are at the heart of the metacrisis”

“The way you create coherent complexity is by iterating again and again simple first rules (First Principles and First Values).” (There is a lot of information online about First Principles thinking).
“First Principles and First Values are the plotline of reality’s story.”

“She (the Divine Feminine) demands sincerity.”

“Technologies we design follow from the values we hold; we encode our values and hopes for the future in our technologies. Technology is not values-neutral.” (The authors are working on a next book about “techno-feudalism”)

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Used AI summary of the video find the parts I am most interested in - education and technology. Around the 53 minute mark, Zak says something like “technology encodes our values”. I agree. AI video summaries of 90 minute videos encode my value of needing to get some work done, so score one for AI.

However, I did want to get an idea of the general argument here because values and value education are becoming centrally important in my practical world. Trying to translate some of this into plainer English, it appears the question is are values eternal and pre-given (the position of many ancient theistic religions) or are values evolving? I’ll split the difference and imagine our understanding of values is almost certainly evolving but the values themselves may have been embedded in creation every step of the way.

Marc and Zak have the backup to what they are saying!!

The NOW has the past and future within it. Looks like you might need to read Whitehead. Or Mathew Segall. It’s a significant change to how we orient to time.

Yes, this was a long podcast and it was roam-y and range-y, unstructured, which made it somewhat hard to follow, listen to, which is why I captioned some of the more salient points. Plus, Marc in particular uses storytelling to teach and get points across, many of his stories coming from the Jewish tradition; some people like this (I do), others find it distracting and don’t like it. I like the richness of language and poetic descriptions, which help to soften discussions and make room for what we might call soulfulness; it helps to offset the dry abstractions we live with in our tech-dominated world. Just my opinion, and I understand for others, this is undesired.

“Intrinsic value” in philosophy refers to the value a thing has in itself, “for its own sake;” something that is valuable on its own. Extrinsic value refers to something being valuable for the sake of something else, or as a means of value for something else.

The point being made in the podcast is the necessity to recognize intrinsic value as a First Value more in the world, e.g. a tree has value in and of itself (intrinsic), is not just lumber (and money) for a logging company, say.

First Principles is a form of thinking and problem-solving that is used by many people, including tech ‘genius’ Elon Musk, and refers to breaking things (a problem, for instance) down into their simple parts, in order to see things one might otherwise not see. When it comes to culture, “the way you create a coherent complexity is by iterating again and again simple first rules,” that is, First Principles and First Values.

As Ken Wilber has said (who apparently consulted on this book as well; they consider him a co-author), the only place the ‘eternal’ can be found is in the NOW. Per Whitehead’s “creative advance into novelty,” as @Bria_OConnell referenced, the past and the future are within the Now. Marc told a story from Judaism, I believe, that ends with God saying “my children have made me eternal by evolving me.” To evolve values from a priority on the extrinsic (which the rational stage has promoted, and also the green-pomo stage with its emphasis on power) to more priority on value as intrinsic is one of the ‘projects’ of the Gafni-Stein work, as I understand it.

Just to point out: All media encode our values. Thats the entire purpose of all media be it oral, analog, digital or notches on a stick marking how many sheep one has.

Saying it another way just makes an audience feel like they are hearing something clever.

This video has actually been sitting in my youtube suggested queue for months.

I probably agree with the major premise of it all: life itself IS meaning and never has and never will need big brain people to hallucinate any additional superfuous meanings besides being.

I dont know what the word erotic has to do with this concept except a sexier title was needed to draw an audience - which ironically probably undermines the real message. The meaning in life isnt to “be erotically at one with the cosmos”. Just be. That is all.

Ill listen to 45 minutes of it soon.
One thing I wish media publishers would do is learn that less is more.
I think also the “pt 1” notifies me that there are even more volumes besides just the 1 hour 45 min. So my brain starts thinking: “do I want to devote 4 or more hours to this?”
This is one of my pet peeves about IL content as well. Thing could be said more succinctly.

I actually lost interest very early. I felt like I joined in on the middle of a discussion in progress in a specialized area. Ideas were just thrown out there (Was King David female / represent the feminine) without any introduction or follow up.

regardless of the expected intellectual sophistication of an audience, the basics of presentations and discussions need to be adhered to:
Introduction - brief summary of what this will all be about
Body - The discussion
Conclusion - recapping what was discussed and any conclusions or lack of conclusions

Also I will add the most important piece of advice for all would-be content creators: “Keep it tight”. If it’s going to be a meandering and aimless discussion - let the audience know beforehand so they won’t tune in if they are not into that format. But this kind of format should never be the rule and fill the first 30 minutes - or at least have time stamps so the audience can skip to when the fluff ends.

This is one of my biggest pet peeves with Integral Life Content and this seems to have leaked into Integral content creators in general. Get to the point - keep it tight - respect your audience’ investment of time.

This is not just a problem for Integral. It’s extremely contagious to many other content creators.