An exploration into the relationship between us as individuals and the world we inhabit. Thinking about how we can shape our environment and how in turn our environment shapes us.

Show Notes

Following on from Episode 1, we take a theme that emerged from our first conversation and explore it more deeply. This time it's the intricate connections between the individual and the world in which that individual is placed. The concept of agent and arena we first came across through the work of John Vervaeke, Professor of Psychology & Cognitive Science at the University of Toronto - you can find a link to his excellent YouTube series below.

Date Recorded
Oct 20th 2020

  • Defining the agent and the arena (03:14)
  • The problem of internal vs external factors in agency (05:58)
  • The blank slate and the agent/arena dichotomy in politics (07:43)
  • Enabling the expression of the individual (10:32)
  • Dynamic coupling of the agent and institutions in the arena (12:34)
  • The Social Dilemma and awareness of the technological arena (14:40)
  • Business models that corrupt our information sources (17:10)
  • Psychologically handling the polluted information ecology (20:48)
  • The importance of storytelling in the arena (25:43)
  • Economics and politics in service of value (30:44)
  • Legacies of the industrial age (34:40)
  • The call to self-authoring your life (39:52)
  • Re-evaluation and emerging opportunities in the arena (42:22)
  • Know thyself, raising real self-esteem (45:12)
  • Autonomous agents within the institutions in the arena (47:29)
  • The beginnings of a paradigm shift? (50:20)
  • Safety nets vs trampolines (56:46)
  • The role of the arena and human potentiality (58:55)
  • The role of emerging technology in the arena (01:03:46)
  • Upgrading machines that have been downgrading humans (01:06:20)
  • Encoding the shadow and the reciprocal nature of technology and the arena (01:08:52)
  • A practical example of dynamic coupling (01:11:44)
  • Agentic disconnect to the modern arena (01:13:09)
  • Questioning modernity (1:15:01)
  • Why having these kind of conversations is so important (01:20:23)
Questions to ponder over
  • Are we struggling to couple to our arena effectively? 
  • In what ways is the arena shaping and influencing you that you might not have previously been aware of?
  • If a rapidly changing world requires more agency, what does it mean to become more self-authoring of our own lives? What might that look like?
Links to explore 

What is Meta-Perspective?

An unfolding dialogue exploring how to think, act and be in a complex and uncertain world.