007 Licence to Feel with Richard Firth-Godbehere

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Richard Firth-Godbehere is an independent researcher and consultant in the history, language, and science of emotions. He is also a witty, entertaining, charismatic, and "occasionally funny" man.

This conversation goes "all over the place" with stops at:

  • 01:50 – Feelings throughout history and the changing vocabulary to describe them
  • 04:15 – Narrating one's own book
  • 07:15 – Convergent evolution in different religions' stance on desires
  • 11:33 – Ashoka the Great and Buddha "the fat guy"
  • 16:45 – Abiding neurotransmitters and their role in emotions
  • 19:05 – Defining love
  • 21:07 – Reading Marcus Aurelius vs laughing at proto-scientific papers on evolution
  • 22:05 – Scientists moving things forward (despite lacking in eloquence)
  • 25:20 – Desire-led need to know things and the scientific revolution
  • 26:44 – Emotions in decision making and the archetype of Mr. Spock
  • 33:30 – Chipping away at jobs, task by task; paying humans to observe their emotions
  • 35:35 – Emotions being the hardest nut to crack in creating genuine "General AI"; needing bigger "roomfuls of computers"
  • 38:25 – Solipsism 2.0 and the future of emotions
  • 39:05 – Passing the Turing test vs being sentient
  • 43:50 – Digital communications and the wielding of one's "offendedness level" as an argument
  • 47:05 – Getting freaked out by new information technology, on a global and historical level
  • 48:25 – Changing culture of letter-writing and interpersonal communication (and the oxytocin connection)
  • 51:45 – Pursuing copycat happiness and letting Instagram and TikTok be our guide doing it
  • 54:30 – Modern art, filters, attention, and social media apps
  • 57:15 – TikTok being better than YouTube at guessing the user's interests
  • 61:20 – Computers telling us what we really want

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