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We've been living in a century long dark age - Steve Patterson

Episode 6 of The Digger Podcast

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In this conversation, Phil and Steve discuss the idea that we may be living in a dark age and the challenges of navigating the complex world of information and knowledge. They explore examples of paradigm shifts in scientific theories and the social and political dynamics that influence the acceptance and rejection of ideas. They also discuss the difficulty of challenging established beliefs and the fear of questioning the foundations upon which our knowledge is built. The conversation highlights the importance of critical thinking and the need to constantly reassess our beliefs. The conversation explores the concept of truth and the value of knowing the truth. It delves into the idea that truth can be destabilizing and that not everyone is equipped to handle it. The discussion also touches on the role of experts and the challenges of navigating complex subjects. The emergence of new intellectual voices and the potential for competing schools of thought is highlighted. In this conversation, Steve Patterson and Phil discuss the idea that we may be living in a dark age, where the orthodox paradigms in various fields are likely to be incorrect. They explore the concept of competing schools of thought and the importance of dissenting opinions. They also discuss the politicization of truth and the challenges of discerning truth from falsehood in a tightly connected intelligentsia and state. They touch on the censorship of free speech and the need for alternative platforms for information. Steve shares his plans for the Natural Philosophy Institute, a research project aimed at exploring alternative ideas and challenging orthodox paradigms.


00:00 Introduction and Living in a Dark Age

08:45 Questioning Established Beliefs

26:30 Challenges of Navigating Information and Knowledge

38:28 Overcoming Fear and Reassessing Beliefs

48:29 The Importance of Accepting Truth

57:05 The Emergence of New Intellectual Voices

01:09:36 Restructuring of Social Hierarchies

01:20:19 The Confusion of the Dark Age

01:33:07 The Growing Concern of Censorship

Keywords dark age, information, knowledge, paradigm shift, scientific theories, social epistemology, trust, intellectual investigation, intellectual lockpicker, information cults, challenging beliefs, foundations of knowledge, North Korea, indoctrination, ontological shock, fear of questioning, truth, value, destabilizing, experts, complex subjects, intellectual voices, competing schools of thought, dark age, orthodox paradigms, competing schools of thought, dissenting opinions, politicization of truth, censorship of free speech, alternative platforms, Natural Philosophy Institute


We may be living in a dark age characterized by misinformation and flawed paradigms.

Scientific theories are not always linear progressions, but are influenced by social and political dynamics.

Challenging established beliefs can be difficult due to trust in authority and fear of questioning the foundations of knowledge.

Critical thinking and independent research are essential for navigating the complex world of information and knowledge.

The fear of self-aggrandizement should not prevent us from questioning and reassessing our beliefs. Truth can be destabilizing and not everyone is equipped to handle it.

The role of experts is important, but their competence and reliability can vary.

Navigating complex subjects requires careful consideration and critical thinking.

The emergence of new intellectual voices can challenge established beliefs and lead to competing schools of thought. We may be living in a dark age where the orthodox paradigms in various fields are likely to be incorrect.

Competing schools of thought and dissenting opinions are important for the advancement of knowledge.

The tight association between the intelligentsia and the state has led to the politicization of truth.

Censorship of free speech is a growing concern, and alternative platforms for information are needed.

The Natural Philosophy Institute aims to challenge orthodox paradigms and explore alternative ideas.


Questioning Established Beliefs: Fear and Trust

Living in a Dark Age: Paradigm Shifts and Misinformation Navigating Complex Subjects with Care

The Role of Experts in a Complex World Are We Living in a Dark Age?

The Importance of Competing Schools of Thought

Sound Bites

"Are we living in a dark age?"

"Maybe Houston, we have a problem"

"We've cast aside the dogma of religion because Darwinism arrived"

"Truth is always good. It's just self-evidently obvious that the truth is good and it's on your side."

"Most people don't care about truth."

"How valuable is the truth?"

"We're going to see competing schools of thought. And they're going to be in radical disagreement with one another about very important and fundamental things."

"What would be better is a plurality where you have all these different hierarchies and they have their people who are really knowledgeable and they're competing."

"We're in the 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. slot of a party. And suddenly the conversations people are having with each other are like, wait, what? What did you just say?"

The Digger
The Digger Podcast
There's not enough digging in journalism any more. PR agencies carefully curate the whims of journalists. We're digging, just a bit, to find out more.